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Commonwealth contributes to safety of best games ever.

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Joint News Release

Commonwealth Attorney-General

The Hon. Daryl Williams AM QC MP

Minister for Defence

The Hon. John Moore MP

9 October 2000


The Attorney-General, Daryl Williams, and the Minister for Defence, John Moore, said today Commonwealth security agencies, including the Australian Defence Force, could be proud of their important, ongoing contribution to the biggest security operation ever undertaken in Australia.

The practice of successive governments is not to discuss matters of national security. However, Commonwealth departments and agencies gave such a gold medal performance in supporting the New South Wales Police Service with security arrangements for the Sydney 2000 Games that we believe the Australian public should know how much work went on behind the scenes.

The Commonwealth has broad security responsibility for gathering and disseminating security and criminal intelligence, border control, aviation security, counter-terrorism, dignitary protection and enforcement of Federal law.

Central to the planning of the Sydney 2000 Games security operations was the requirement that these measures be implemented in an effective, friendly and unobtrusive way which did not disrupt the Games.

The success of the Commonwealth’s security support to the New South Wales Police Service has been demonstrated by the absence of incidents and the fact that this was the safest Games in modern Olympic history.

The Games security operation involved the combined efforts of the Australian Defence Force, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, the Protective Security

Coordination Centre the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Customs Service, and the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs. All have worked cooperatively and over many years with NSW Police and international security agencies to prepare for the Games.

By the close of the Paralympic Games, about 4,000 personnel from all three ADF services will have participated in supporting the Sydney 2000 Games. They were involved in operational searches of venues and vehicles to detect and dispose of suspicious items, clearance diving, transport of Olympics officials and delegates, and ceremonial support including ADF bands which recorded the national anthems of participating nations.

To date, ASIO has provided about 157,000 Olympic-specific security assessments for people accredited to the Games. From 1 May to 8 October, ASIO has issued 685 threat assessments, including 431 specifically related to Olympic security.

The PSCC monitored the movements of more than 200 dignitaries during the Games period and coordinated security for those under any threat to their safety It also activated and staffed a Watch Office on a 24 hour basis.

During the Games period, the AFP had about 450 members dedicated to Olympic duties. Australia’s border agencies at airports and seaports have done an excellent job in getting people through the arrival and departure process during their busiest periods ever due to the volume of Olympic traffic.

The Commonwealth’s commitment to the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games is ongoing.

ADF personnel have arrived in Sydney to support ceremonial and search activities for the Paralympic Games and other Commonwealth agencies are continuing to work with their NSW colleagues to ensure the continued safety of athletes and spectators.

We urge them to maintain their vigilance and professionalism and wish them well in their Paralympic duties.

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