Security at all Australian airports is being stepped up over the Easter break, in the wake of the Brussels attacks. People planning on inter-state or overseas travel are advised to get to the airport earlier than usual -- not only due to vehicle traffic around the airport over Easter but with the time taken in the airport for additional checks.
Attorney General George Brandis has confirmed there will be a ‘multi-layered’ approach to heightened security.
Not only will there will be an increased visible presence of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) but there will also be several ‘behind the scenes’ or less visible procedures in place.
Brandis told Sky News that Australia was in a good position as a result of our strong borders.
“There will be increased security operations and increased patrols. That’s not to say the arrangements we had in place were insufficient but, due to the level of public concern following Brussels, the government has decided to increase further airport security arrangements, led by the AFP,” Brandis said.
The Brussels attack took place at the airport check-in area where no one needed to present a boarding pass or identification to be present. Australia has the same policy -- no boarding pass is required in that same area in Australian airports.
“Right now the official alert level has been set at ‘probable'. That means we assess a terrorist event to be likely or probable and that level will be kept under constant review. But Australia is in a very good position as a result of the strong borders we have, as a result of the strong new laws introduced over the last two years to protect Australia from this kind of threat.”
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has openly criticised security arrangements in Europe, a continent with few internal borders and where some parts of its external borders are plagued with unregulated entries.
Turnbull has warned that Europe has created a 'perfect storm' as they have lost control of their own security. In comparison, Turnbull told the Lowy Institute Australia is in a stronger position.
"Australia is better placed than many of our European counterparts in dealing with the threat of terrorism because of the strength of our intelligence and security agencies, our secure borders and our successful multicultural society; one that manages to be both secure and free," Turnbull said.
"European Governments are confronted by a perfect storm of failed or neglected integration, foreign fighters returning from Iraq and Syria, porous borders and intelligence and security apparatus struggling to keep pace with the scope and breadth of the threat."
"For all intents and purposes there are no internal borders in Europe and their external borders are difficult to manage. Recent intelligence indicates that ISIL is using the refugees crisis to send its operatives into Europe."