Important legislation will be introduced into State Parliament today to provide the necessary powers to WA Police during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), the biggest international event to be held in Perth for decades.
Police Minister Rob Johnson said the event would potentially bring more than 50 heads of sovereign States, 4,000 delegates and journalists to WA.
“CHOGM is our chance to come of age and portray Perth as Australia’s western capital - a mature, outward looking city, at the centre of the world’s fastest growing and economically significant region,” Mr Johnson said.
“It is therefore vital that police and other security personnel have the necessary powers during this event to ensure the smooth running of the meeting and the safety and security of the delegates and the community in general.
“Security at similar events held in Australia in recent times has been greatly assisted by the enactment of special powers, including the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the 2002 Queensland CHOGM, the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games and the 2007 Sydney Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Conference.”
The Minister said the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Special Powers) Bill 2011 provided security powers for police and authorised persons to use in designated security areas, as well as additional powers for police to close roads for the purposes of conveying dignitaries. The legislation would just be limited to CHOGM.
“These powers will predominantly assist police in dealing with anyone who attempts to disrupt the event, harm delegates or destroy property,” he said.
“It will also allow law enforcement officers from other jurisdictions to work with WA Police.”
Mr Johnson said the WA Government had also approved additional funding for WA Police of more than $12.2million for:
· the establishment of a 24-hour command centre
· additional vehicle, maritime and air support capabilities during CHOGM
· the recruitment of additional Western Australian police officers
· the use of personnel from the Australian Federal Police and police officers from other Australian States and Territories and New Zealand.
It is expected that these costs would be reimbursed by the Federal Government.
CHOGM 2011 will be held from October 28 to 30, 2011. The State Government is planning a number of artistic, cultural and sporting events to coincide with the meeting.
For more information, visit http://www.chogm2011.org
Minister's office - 9222 9211