The G20 is here
The preparation is complete and the G20 Leaders’ Summit 2014 will be held in Brisbane next weekend (14-16/11/2014). Like it or hate it, many of the world’s leaders and approximately 3,000 media representatives will be in the Brisbane and Gold Coast area next weekend. So, what will it mean for us?
The G20 (Safety and Security) Act 2013 has commenced and the various declared and restricted areas are now in operation. Of interest, there are three declared areas on the Gold Coast, the Sanctuary Cove ‘Market place’ area, Palazzo Versace resort and Surfers Paradise Marriott resort. In Brisbane, most of the city and South Brisbane as well as the airport are declared areas. The Intercontinental Resort at Sanctuary Cove as well as the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, parts of South Bank and the Brisbane are restricted areas, with access prohibited to all persons who do not hold Commonwealth accreditation.
There will be major traffic disruptions in the Brisbane area from 7pm on 13/11/14 until the morning of 17/11/14. The biggest anticipated disruptions will be on the major roadways on Friday 14/11/14 due to the motorcades of dignitaries travelling from the Brisbane Airport to the city. Roads will be closed by declaration for motorcades by notification on the police website (www.police.qld.gov.au/G20/default.htm). When a road is declared to be closed, traffic will be prohibited and all vehicles unlawfully parked will be seized and towed.
Public Transport will be disrupted with most Brisbane city bus services cancelled. Buses will operate in the outer CBD areas to specified places, with passengers facing a walk into the city centre (up to 2Km). The Gold Coast – Airport train link will operate as normal, with a diversion through Yeerongpilly to the Ipswich line. If you are attempting to travel to the airport, catch the train! Ferries in the city will operate normally. More information about the G20 public transport changes is available at the Translink website (http://translink.com.au/).
G20 isn’t only about the leaders; there are a number of exhibitions and activities being held in Brisbane over the weekend, even the opportunity to spot various world leaders. South Bank (apart from some restricted areas) will be open as usual and most of the city will be business-as–usual. As long as you are willing to walk a bit from the train station, access should be relatively easy. Further information on the G20 Cultural Celebrations is available at http://g20cultural.initiatives.qld.gov.au/index.html.
Notwithstanding the above, the G20 will be an ongoing security operation until 17/11/14. The G20 (Safety and Security) Act 2013 provides additional powers to police officers, accredited security officers and ADF personnel. A large number of articles are prohibited (without a legitimate reason) and you may be stopped and searched by an authorised person for a legitimate reason (e.g. you are near a restricted area or a motorcade route) for any prohibited articles. Many searches will be similar to what happens if you go to a sports match (i.e. bag-search) along with being required to removing any coats, hats and sunglasses and to allow a visual search for possible hidden articles. A basic pat-down search may also be performed and you may be asked to provide identification.
Please keep in mind the authorised persons are conducting the search as required under the Act, not for their entertainment or out of vindictiveness. Be polite and maintain your good humour and the process will be over as quick as possible.
Protests are likely to be held at various times from now until the end of the G20 event. Whilst peaceful protests are a respected part of democracy and negotiations have been conducted with a number of groups, the risk of violent protests, including assaults and property damage are possible. If a violent protest occurs, don’t stay around to watch the entertainment, leave and obey all lawful directions. Otherwise, you could become injured or, worse still, arrested.
There will be police officers from all states of Australia as well as New Zealand (as well as various ‘security specialists’ from various countries) as well as worldwide media in Brisbane for the G20, so say G'day and welcome them to our State. We will definitely be ‘on show’ and hopefully it will work perfectly. Enjoy the event!
Senior Sergeant Andrew LAKE 6695
Senior Sergeant Andrew LAKE 6695
Queensland Police Service
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