Terror threat now a battle for key inner-Sydney council
THE war on terror has become a local battle.
Waverley Council is looking at how best to guard crowded places, including the NSW hot spot, against terrorist attacks.
Former Mayor Sally Betts has asked for a full security audit of the local government area, particularly the Bondi Junction Mall and Bondi's beachfront Queen Elizabeth Drive.
"These would be the most vulnerable places in Waverley," she said.
"We need to look at the whole of Waverley, but obviously there are specific places that we need to focus on in particular and see what needs to be done.
"(Experts) may say it needs ... bollards but where do you put the bollards? It really is quite a complex thing."
Cr Betts' motion was debated at a council meeting last Tuesday night.
It comes after the Commonwealth Government published Australia's Strategy for Protecting Crowded Places from Terrorism in August, putting the responsibility on local councils to help protect their communities from acts of terror.
Waverley Mayor John Wakefield said he would support the motion to undertake a risk assessment and to look at the costs it would involve.
"It's a significant issue and council needs to be prepared to take appropriate action as needed," he said.
Last year, Islamic State specifically called on terrorists to attack Bondi Beach, the Opera House and the Sydney Cricket Ground in a rant in its propaganda magazine Rumiyah.
There have also been several vehicle-ramming terror attacks in recent months across the world, including in the UK, Germany and Spain.
"Every time there's a vehicle that (drives) into people, then people started really getting concerned," Cr Betts said.
Neighbouring councils have started undertaking similar risk assessments; Randwick last month estimated its anti-terrorism measures were likely to cost taxpayers approximately
"All I am suggesting is that we get our act together and start this audit," Cr Betts said.
"We have to approve our budget by June next year. I'm concerned that if we don't do that now, we will have no idea about what the implications on the budget would be."
Cr Betts said council also needed to reassess the security of all new large developments through planning controls.
"Council has many large projects currently being considered or implemented," she wrote in her motion to Waverley Council.
"Those projects may need to be reassessed in light of this report."