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Venues assess security in wake of Manchester Arena terrorist attrocity
Major venues across Australia are set to increase security measures in the wake of Monday night’s terror attack at the Manchester Arena that killed 22 people and injured 64 others.
At a Government level, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and members of the National Security Committee of Cabinet have been briefed by the heads of Australia’s intelligence, security, defence and law enforcement agencies in Canberra.
As a result, a review has been ordered into security at major venues after the tragedy at the Ariana Grande concert, while the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (AISO) will work with the Australian Federal Police to revaluate current arrangements.
While Australia’s terror threat level will remain unchanged at ‘probable’ for now, security arrangements for major sporting and cultural events such as Sydney’s Vivid Festival, which begins on Friday, the 2018 Gold Coast Commonweatlh Games and ongoing sporting fixtures and concert events are under review.
Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop told reporters at Parliament House yesterday (24th May) “Australia’s threat level has not changed, there is no evidence to suggest it should change ... (but) we will keep all major events under review.
“We are also reviewing places of mass gathering, crowded places, to ensure to keep the places as safe as possible for Australians and tourists.”
Authorities have thwarted 12 terrorist plots on Australian soil since September 2014, including one before Christmas last year which is believed would have seen the detonation of an explosive device in or around Federation Square in Melbourne.
Among new security measures being considered is the strict control of venues when patrons are leaving events, more Police and security staff during events and a complete ban on backpacks and more police and security staff.
The Australian has reported that Sydney venues are considering introducing a new policy which would allow only see-through bags through the gates, a security measure used throughout America and for more patrons to be subject to an inspection by a metal-detection wand.
Venue managers AEG Ogden said they review security for each event at their arenas and that includes checking security measures for the precinct outside the venue.
An AEG Ogden spokeperson advised “all AEG Ogden managed venues constantly review security measures and remain extremely vigilant about security of our patrons and staff
“Management at each venue undertake a risk assessment for every event and work closely with the State’s Police Command, including any recommendations they make regarding security for a particular event. That includes the precinct and the venue itself.”
Expressing concern at how the attack might impact Australia’s venues and events industry, Natasha Barker, Manager Corporate at international insurance broker Arthur J. Gallagher (AJG) - Australia told Insurance Business “in my opinion there is sure to be an impact but to what extent will depend on the scale of the costs involved with this and other recent attacks.”
Barker added that the attacks in Manchester are “sure to have repercussions on any further event insurers are considering to cover and price.”
Internationally, Mark Mettes, Chair of the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) issued a a statement advising “our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have been touched by this attack, especially all of the young victims and their families.
“I also include our facility manager colleagues at the Manchester Arena because they will be touched by this tragedy for the rest of their lives. Although we would love to reach out and help them in some meaningful way, we must recogniSe through this tragedy the importance of individual and institutional preparedness.
“In these times, we must remind ourselves of our personal responsibilities at our venues. Please make time to review your own Emergency Evacuation Plans and any Emergency Procedures your venue has for Staff.
“If your venue doesn’t have these plans or procedures, I strongly encourage you to reach out to the leadership of your venue and do your part in taking the necessary steps toward preparedness.”
On financial markets, a number of investors have opted to sell shares in concert promoter Live Nation and US venue Madison Square Garden in New York over fears the Manchester attack could impact ticket sales at US events.
Shares in Live Nation - which is promoting the now-suspended Ariana Grande tour - fell by 31 cents to US$33.61 on Tuesday and did not recover on Wednesday. Madison Square Garden shares were down to US$196.61.
Image: A past security operation at the Sydney Opera House (top) and the Manchester Arena (below).
23rd May 2017 - VENUE INDUSTRY REACTS TO MANCHESTER ARENA TERROR ATTACK
16th January 2017 - PERCEPTION OF SAFETY AND SECURITY BOOST AUSTRALIA’S INTERNATIONAL TOURISM GROWTH
22nd December 2016 - ADELAIDE OVAL INTRODUCES UPGRADED SECURITY FOR SUMMER EVENTS
27th March 2016 - VENUE SECURITY INCREASED OVER EASTER WEEKEND
2nd December 2015 - AUSTRALIAN VENUES TO BOOST SECURITY FOLLOWING PARIS ATTACKS
20th November 2015 - ISLAMIC STATE JIHADISTS TARGET MAJOR VENUES IN TERROR CAMPAIGN
19th November 2015 - VENUE MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION SENDS SYMPATHY TO EUROPEAN VENUE MANAGERS
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