bunker recovery coming up!

  1. 4,434 Posts.
    New system of economic recovery: Fear=bunker building... for the pollies, anyway! I wonder if we'll get to ever see them now!

    Parliament builds bomber barrier
    By David Wroe
    December 8, 2004
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    A temporary fence protects the work site where the wall is being built around Parliament House in Canberra.

    A temporary fence protects the work site where the wall is being built around Parliament House in Canberra.
    Photo: Andrew Taylor

    Picture a bird flying into a closed window and you have some idea of the impotence that will soon face a truck-bomber aiming at Parliament House.

    For nearly two years, the elegance of the House on the Hill has been marred by ugly white plastic barricades, installed around the time of the Iraq war.

    From March, these will be replaced by a waist-high, concrete retaining wall that will stop dead any explosives-packed vehicle driving up the grassy slopes that cover Parliament House (excepting, perhaps, a Sherman tank or a monster truck with oversized tyres). The reinforced concrete wall, 90 centimetres high and 40 centimetres thick, is part of an $11.7 million security upgrade at Parliament House that began after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the US.

    The Australian Bomb Data Centre, which is part of the Australian Federal Police, reviewed Parliament House security in consultation with the Australian Defence Force Academy and ASIO in 2002 and 2003.

    Because Parliament House is built into the hill, with the grass stretching to the apex, it was agreed that it was vulnerable to attack from VIEDs - vehicle improvised explosive devices.

    ASIO held a demonstration of the defence wall at Holsworthy army base outside Sydney two weeks ago.

    Video footage of a similar demonstration, released to The Age by the Department of Parliamentary Services, shows a speeding tip truck smashing into the wall, stopping dead and becoming a fireball.

    The wall around Parliament would be stronger still, said Peter Crowe, assistant secretary of security and facilities at Parliament. It would be more like a large step, with grass-covered dirt filling the space behind the wall.

    "We're using the wall to mitigate the effects of an explosion by imposing as much distance on any vehicle as we can while maintaining visitors' access to Parliament," Mr Crowe said.

    Romaldo Giurgola and his firm MGT Canberra Architects, which designed Parliament House, were contracted at a cost of $100,000 to ensure the wall was in keeping with the original design.

    As part of the security upgrading, the Department of Parliamentary Services has installed blast-proof film on Parliament House's ministerial wing and will put a heavy steel gate at the loading bay.

    Despite suggestions that the wall would hamper visitors' access to Parliament, it would give Australians full access to the grassy slopes aside from a fenced area around the skylight at the top of the hill, Mr Crowe said.

    To get to the apex, visitors would have to pass through security checks inside the building and take a lift to the top.

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