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Exercise Northern Exposure Coffs Harbour: Multi-agency Counter Terrorism Exercise

Thursday, 16 March 2017 08:21:05 AM

Members of the Coffs Harbour community are being advised not to be concerned today (Thursday 16 March 2017) should they see an increased presence of police and emergency service personnel.

Exercise Northern Exposure is a multi-agency counter-terrorism exercise and designed to test the agency response arrangements to a mass casualty terrorist incident in a regional setting.

The NSW Ambulance-led exercise will include more than 100 personnel and resources from the NSW Police Force, Fire and Rescue NSW, NSW Rural Fire Service, NSW State Emergency Service and NSW Health,

Coffs/Clarence Local Area Commander, Superintendent Mark Holahan, said the local community should take comfort that this type of exercise is being conducted in the area.

“Terrorism and its related activities are not confined to major cities.

“Exercises such as this send a clear message that local law enforcement and emergency service agencies have the necessary skills, prowess and practiced ability to respond to a wide range of incidents,” Supt Holahan said.

The Australia-New Zealand Counter Terrorism Committee (ANZCTC) funded exercise Northern Exposure builds on a number of similarly themed exercises conducted in NSW in recent times.

Commander of the NSW Police Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Command, Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch, said the exercise is part of the ongoing commitment of the NSW Counter Terrorism Exercise Steering Committee Drill Style Exercise Program in conjunction with Police Regions and Local Area Commands.

“While we need to test this type of scenario, there is no known threat along these lines, and the public should not be alarmed.”

“In recent years we have tested our response capabilities in a range of situations and we must keep broadening our scope to ensure our preparedness is up to the level required. The community expects that from us.”

Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch said everyone can play their part in countering terrorism.

“Our best tools are vigilance and awareness, the same tools all the community should use,” Assistant Commissioner Murdoch said.