Residents warned to remain vigilant

It would be irresponsible to suggest that some parts of the nation are more or less at risk of a terrorist attack than others, Hunter MP and former federal defence minister Joel Fitzgibbon says.
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BE ALERT: Joel Fitzgibbon.

Terrorism alert levels have been raised since the government pledged military support for Middle Eastern armed forces fighting radical group Islamic State, or ISIL, earlier this month.

Mr Fitzgibbon said he ­supported the government’s serious treatment of national security but that the opposition would scrutinise all plans to increase security.

“Residents in the Hunter should react no differently than those in the cities,” he said.

“That is, they should go about their normal lives but be alert to anything they might see which seems unusual.

“As a former defence minister I’m aware that our defence facilities adjust their levels of security alert regularly and I’m not surprised that level has been ramped up given the role our troops are playing in the Middle East.

“It would be irresponsible for anyone to suggest one part of the country faces more or less risk than any other part.”

Airforce personnel left for the Middle East from the Williamtown Royal Australian Air Force base on the weekend.

ABC radio reported on Monday that the air base had increased its alert level, but an Australian Defence Force spokesperson was unable to confirm this.

“The security of defence bases remains a high priority for government and defence,” the spokesperson told the Mercury.

“Defence does not discuss intelligence matters or specific protective measures and how they are applied on different bases.

“Defence will continue to apply protective security measures to address the prevailing security environment.”

Paterson MP Bob Baldwin referred the Mercury’s questions to the Prime Minster’s Office.

Central Hunter crime manager Detective Inspector John Zdrilic said police encouraged residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity.

But he said people should not change the way they went about their daily lives.

“If you see something unusual, report it,” Inspector Zdrilic said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.