New counter-terrorism training centre opens

by Brett Henebery16 Jun 2017
The Queensland Government has opened a new counter-terrorism training centre that will help the state’s police service combat potential threats.

Brisbane will host the $47m facility, which will include life-like civilian streets that the Queensland Police Service will use for scenario training.

To boost the capacity of police to respond to terrorist incidents, the government also announced an extra 30 counter-terrorism police and 20 ‘frontline’ officers, bringing the total number of QPS personnel to 11,900.

Queensland’s Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said the new centre and police were in response to an increase in global terrorism.

There have been 215 terrorist incidents around the world since May, including an attack in Melbourne which saw a radicalised man shot dead by police after he took a woman hostage.

“I need to ensure that the police service has the best resources that it needs to be able to respond to issues as they arise,” Palaszczuk said in a statement.

QPS Commissioner, Ian Stewart, said the specialist training would focus on intelligence gathering and de-radicalisation.

“Certainly we're seeing terrorism evolve very, very quickly. We've always known that terrorists look to the environment – just as we do – and then they adjust,” he said, adding that there would be a review of the state’s counter-terrorism strategy.

The review, which will be delivered to the State Government at the end of the month, will investigate whether the current QPS structure is suitable and if police possess the skills to deal with terrorism.

“We've been very, very fortunate in this state with our federal counterparts, and with our other jurisdictional partners around Australia, to stop a number of events occurring and they've been in the media over the years,” Stewart said.

“But we've got to continually readjust and reassess our posture and how we will try and defeat terrorism across Queensland.”

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