MELBOURNE will spend $A10 million on an emergency public address system, expanded video surveillance and a network of remotely controlled rising bollards to defend against vehicle attacks on pedestrians after 5 people were murdered in Burke St Mall.
While details are sketchy at present, the enhancements are being made by the Victorian Government at the request of Victoria Police and they likely build on pieces of infrastructure already in place.
According to the Sunday Herald Sun, the alert system would see speakers installed to enable police to send out mass warnings of impending terror attacks or any other threat to public safety.
Pop-up bollards are another major security upgrade likely in the wake of the Bourke St tragedy and overseas terror attacks, including the recent vehicle attack on Westminster Bridge in London.
CCTV will also be expanded to create a greater “eye on Melbourne”. According to the Sunday Herald Sun, the new security measures have the backing of Premier Daniel Andrews.
Automated rising bollards would defend pedestrian precincts from vehicles and the areas in focus include Bourke, Swanston, Flinders and Collins streets.
The Victorian security working group, which includes police, government officials, the City of Melbourne and public transport agencies, is to manage traffic issues while erecting a stronger protective system for pedestrians, said the SHS report.
Last month, the Sunday Herald Sun reported Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton of Victoria Police had called for concrete flowerboxes or boulders to be considered as bollards in the CBD.
Meanwhile, Premier Daniel Andrews said tomorrow’s state budget would include $A11.5 million for security upgrades at government buildings, including Government House.
“There are so many people visiting there it needs to be the safest precinct possible, and the same goes for a number of other important government buildings,” he said.
The move follows the widespread installation of huge yellow steel barriers around London after the recent Westminster attack.♦