Page 3475 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 21 September 2005

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This offer was declined, and the ACT Legislative Assembly security personnel attended the area and ensured that the area was clear.

Police managing the incident were satisfied that this request was effectively carried out as the area was cleared within a short period of time and was not reoccupied. Police did not advise personnel in the remainder of the Legislative Assembly building to either self-evacuate or make a determination directing evacuation to be required.

Personnel from the specialist response and security bomb response team are subject-matter authorities on the management of suspicious packages and conducted a series of tests that identified that the backpack presented no risk. Another set of inquiries was also conducted that identified the owner of the backpack and, as such, no criminal offences were disclosed.

The establishment of perimeters in response to a suspected improvised explosive devise is an objective decision based on a number of variables. Predominant considerations include the size of the articles being managed, the rationale being that the size of the article could equate to the amount of explosive material potentially contained within. Different types of explosives do, however, have varying ignition methods and explosive power velocity or capacity.

Another consideration is the environment where the incident is being managed. For example, a blast would travel over a greater distance in a rural context as there are fewer physical obstructions to absorb the force. In relation to an urban context, brick and concrete structures can provide safety. However, glass and similar materials present an increased risk of injury or death as a result of fragmentation.

The setting of perimeters is based on assessment of these variables and available intelligence information. I repeat that: the setting of perimeters is based on the assessment of these variables and available intelligence information. An investigation into the initial threatening phone call made to the Chief Minister’s office is continuing. This is the information conveyed to me by the Chief Police Officer of the ACT, and I have every confidence that the police have handled the matter appropriately.

Answers to questions on notice

Question No 486

MRS DUNNE: Under standing order 118A, I seek an explanation from the acting minister for education in relation to question on notice No 486 which became overdue on 17 September.

MR STANHOPE: I do not have available to me an explanation. It is quite possible that the matter is awaiting the return of the minister for education who is currently occupied by matters of a personal nature.

Auditor-General’s report No 4 of 2005

Mr Speaker presented the following paper:

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