This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)
A key worry is the lack of strong perimeter barriers at any of our major airports as well as security screenings, which are deemed so incomplete that up to a quarter of all security staff have not been background checked by federal police or ASIO.
Independent Senator Nick Xenophon said that he believes ‘the information that’s come to light indicates the need for an urgent Senate inquiry into airport security’.
“Something is seriously wrong with our security system,” he added.
The South Australian Independent will next week introduce a motion in the Federal Parliament for a Senate Inquiry into airport security following a 7News investigation that revealed multiple breaches of perimeter fencing and passenger screening.
Roger Henning of Homeland Security Asia Pacific said: “The need is great, we have an imminent threat. It is well known that we have people living in this country who are capable of striking now.”
Investigators revealed several security issues. The terminal entrance at Melbourne airport is thought too slack.
According to 7News people are freely allowed to fuel jerry cans on the tarmac at Canberra and dangerous items are regularly seized at security checkpoints and items have included long blade knives, guns and ammunition.
The Senate Inquiry comes as the Prime Minister warned Australia that faces the threat of a ‘mass casualty terrorist event’. In addition to being possible targets, our airports are transit points for homegrown believers going overseas to fight and returning home as radicals.
The Union for 50,000 airport workers claims up to 25 per cent of security staff have not undergone ASIO and police background checks.
Tony Sheldon, who is the Transport Workers Union (TWU) National Secretary, added that with the upcoming G20 summit, leaders from around the world will be ‘targets and our airports are going to be targets for attack during this period’.
An inquiry would also examine jihadists who have slipped through airport security, including convicted terrorist Khaled Sharrouf, one of two who used his brother’s passport.
The Senate is expected to vote on proceeding with the Inquiry next week.