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Preparedness to Respond to Terrorism Incidents: Essential Services and Critical Infrastructure

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2009
99 pages
This report presents an audit examining Victoria, Australia's preparedness to respond to terrorism incidents, relating to essential services and critical infrastructure.
Victoria, Australia has played a significant part in developing capability for protecting essential services and critical infrastructure, nationally and in other States, in particular the capability development of crisis centers of other States and Territories. The government has invested around $255 million in counter-terrorism initiatives, since 2002, to protect the community against terrorism including prevention, response, and recovery. Victoria police, emergency services, health services, and other government agencies have been provided with new tools to combat terrorism and its consequences. In addition, the establishment of a governance structure comprising the Security and Emergencies Committee of Cabinet, the Central Government Response Committee, Government Security and Continuity Network Coordination Group, and Security and Continuity Networks to underpin the arrangements for protecting essential services and critical infrastructure is a positive initiative. However, recommendations for improvement in the protection of essential services and critical infrastructure are presented. Protecting essential services and critical infrastructure is integral to minimizing the impact and consequence of a terrorist attack. Victoria was the first Australian jurisdiction to develop arrangements for protecting essential services from the effects of terrorism. It was an early starter in developing an approach to critical infrastructure protection and a significant contributor to and early proponent of the development of the national CIP framework (the National Guidelines for Protecting Critical Infrastructure from Terrorism). This report presents an audit examining the governance arrangements established to assist operators of essential service and owner/operators of critical infrastructure to respond to terrorism incidents. The activities of selected Victorian government agencies with roles and responsibilities under Part 6 of the Terrorism (Community Protection) Act 2003 and the CIP framework are examined. Figures and appendixes A-D