ABC Online brings the sad news that the London Circuit Soviet is looking to mimic a piece of Sydney Silliness in relation to so called “terror planning” (the fact they’re keeping it seperate from general emergency planning is how you can tell it’s spin not substance).
Premier Morris Iemma announced that in the event of an attack on Sydney, email and SMS alerts would be sent to building managers across the CBD.
Chief Minister Jon Stanhope says a similar plan will be released soon for Canberra.
So what’s wrong with this plan?
– Firstly they’re going to need an up to date database of building manager’s contact details, accounting for absences from the office and changes of phone.
– Assuming a degree of competence unseen in this town in many a year they might get 90% of the right names at any given time. Seriously bad luck if you’re working for the other 10%
– Now what’s the first piece of public infrastructure to collapse in the event of widespread public panic? Oh yes that would be those mobile phones you’re going to send dinky little SMS messages to.
– What piece of public infrastructure requires telecommunications AND electricity to be present at every point between both people trying to communicate? Ah, well, that would be those emails.
It’s certainly a heady mix of being seen to do something and control freakery about the chosen few to be “in the loop”. If they were serious they’d be talking to local radio and/or putting in a dedicated radio system.
But as with most parts of the “war on terror” it’s serious only in terms of power grabs by security services.
UPDATED: Nothing online yet, but ABC Online are quoting Steve Pratt as having similar concerns. The biggest point that seems to be being missed is that from an evacuation point of view a terrorist attack is little different to a gas leak, plane crash, or major fire. A special system just for terrorism has me reaching for my tinfoil hat.