Canberra to follow Sydney’s silly terror plan

johnboy 8 August 2005 7

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.

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7 Responses to Canberra to follow Sydney’s silly terror plan
bulldog bulldog 3:28 pm 08 Aug 05

Nice one Hadley.

Bring out the Klaxons! Old school air raid sirens for those playing at home. Only then will the terrorists know we’re not really worth bombing.

Ralph Ralph 11:26 am 08 Aug 05

heh heh heh

Hadley Hadley 11:15 am 08 Aug 05

“u should gt o7t of bldg b4 u explde”

johnboy johnboy 10:16 am 08 Aug 05

My understanding of the New York, Madrid, London experience was that when EVERYONE reached for their phone at the same time even the prioritised messages were taking their time (ie too long).

This plan seems to be predicated on having prior warning, not something the current crop of terrorists give much of.

bonfire bonfire 10:06 am 08 Aug 05

sms can be prioritised.

if gsm nodes fallover, the phone will still be recognised by any node within a 35km radius. cdma is even better. canberra is gsm node rich.

have to be some disaster to affect that size area.

i agree though, the human side ie keeping a database accurate will cause this to fail.

terubo terubo 9:17 am 08 Aug 05

Send in chaps on horseback, ringing bells – very effective in days of yore.
Alternatively, bonfires & smoke signals at strategic locations…but maybe not such a good idea in firestormed Canberra.

yakz yakz 6:22 pm 07 Aug 05

“But as with most parts of the “war on terror” it’s serious only in terms of power grabs by security services.”

totally agree

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