Mercury 10 multi jurisdictional exercise

Monday, 23 August 2010 - 9:25am

Tasmania’s counter-terrorism capability will be put to the test this Tuesday and Wednesday during Australia’s largest ever multi-jurisdictional exercise.

Tasmania’s involvement in the deployment phase of the national counter-terrorism exercise Mercury 10 will run from Tuesday 24 August to Wednesday 25 August.

The multi-jurisdictional exercise, or MJEX, will test both Australian and state and territory government agencies’ ability to prevent, respond and recover from terrorist threats and acts of terrorism.

It will take place in the ACT, Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory from August 23-27, with local activity occurring on August 24-25 in several locations around the State. Authorities in New Zealand will also be taking part.

Part of the National Counter-Terrorism Committee’s national exercise program, Mercury 10 will test the responses of agencies to a range of scenarios with domestic and international implications including contemporary terrorist threats leading to mass casualties.

There is a particular focus on cooperation and coordination across borders. These types of exercises are an important part of the Government’s commitment to developing Australia’s counter-terrorism capability at both the operational and strategic levels.

Australia’s counter-terrorism capability is extensive and the public can be confident that any terrorism incident can be responded to and dealt with effectively.

The Acting Commissioner of Tasmania Police, Darren Hine, said the field deployments will involve police, emergency services and Australian Government policing and intelligence agencies.

“The exercise will involve more than 150 personnel, including about 120 sworn and unsworn members of Tasmania Police and representatives of other government agencies,” Mr Hine said.

“While the risk of a terrorist attack in Tasmania is low, it’s a reality that can’t be ignored. Major exercises such as Mercury 10 provide a full-scale, real-time test of the capacity of our emergency and security services.

“We are at a constant state of readiness and exercises such as these are a valuable part of preparations and training.

“The State Crisis Centre will be activated to test high-level decision making and coordination with the Australian and other state and territory governments. It will also involve coordination between Government and some of the State’s critical infrastructure companies.”

Action has been taken to ensure minimal public disruption, with property and business owners near exercise locations advised of the expected activity in their area.

Tasmania Police Media
(03) 6230 2296