Get Ready For Even Tougher Security At Australian Airports
An alleged plot to put a bomb on a plane leaving Sydney airport last year has triggered a range of major aviation security changes as a cost of almost $300 million.
Full body scanners and advanced x-ray equipment will be rolled out across major and regional Australian airports, with screening staff subjected to stricter training and security checks.
More than 140 counter-terrorism officers will be deployed at airports, with another 50 officers providing them with tactical intelligence and support.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton described the alleged terror attack in Sydney last July as unprecedented and sophisticated, saying it represented a significant shift in the national security environment.
"These terrorist plots showed a very real and disturbing danger," Mr Dutton said in statement on Tuesday.
"The government and industry responded immediately to disrupt and contain the threat, increasing law enforcement and strengthening security screening."
Two men pleaded not guilty to two counts of acting in preparation for, or planning, a terrorist attack.
They were allegedly told to smuggle a bomb hidden inside a meat grinded onto an Etihad plane due to depart from Sydney for Abu Dhabi on July 15 last year.
In total, the budget will pump $294 million into upgrading security at airports, international mail centres and air cargo facilities.
Inbound air cargo and international mail will also be subjected to stricter screening as part of a $122 million equipment upgrade.
"I will introduce new laws to complement these measures providing the AFP broader powers to conduct identity checks at airports and to order a person to 'move on' from airport premises where needed," Mr Dutton said.
Airport screening staff will also face stricter training and security checks, with the government spending $23.6 million on clearance processes for all new and existing aviation and maritime staff.
The minister promised to work with airports and airlines to implement the enhanced security measures.
The budget also locks in funding for Australian Border Force liaison officers to be stationed at 19 overseas international airports.
And it sets aside $62.2 million over two years to maintain Operation Sovereign Borders, Australia's military-led response to people-smuggling and other similar activities.