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Is Sydney the Next Target for Al Qaeda?

by Marquette Turner

in News & Views

I was travelling from Sydney to Tamworth recently, on my way to the Marquette Turner country retreat. It’s a great escape from the pressures of Sydney and as I checked in my luggage and received my boarding pass I continued through Security where I was pulled up and searched as I had inadvertently left a pair of nail scissors in my carry on luggage. They were confiscated and I was cautioned and allowed to board the plane. This was on a Saturday afternoon at around 3.15pm. I was wearing a suit and had just finished a successful day of Auctions for Marquette Turner Estate Agents – surely I didn’t look like a terrorist threat!

I started the return journey to Sydney the following Wednesday morning at around 7.00am at Tamworth Airport. I checked my luggage in and was asked if I was carrying anything dangerous in my hand luggage. I assured the young lady that I was not and was issued with my boarding pass and had a coffee with Simon Turner. At no time did I pass through an x-ray machine or have any other type of security to pass other than my promise at check in that I was not carrying anything that was dangerous. The fact was that I wasn’t carrying anything dangerous, however, I certainly could have been. There was no x-ray machine or any other security to pass through. My aircraft was a Qantas Link Dash 8, carrying around 50 passengers plus pilots and crew.

I suddenly realized that I could have been carrying a bomb in my carry on luggage, a knife, 5 litres of petrol or even could have packed explosives in my checked luggage. We were flying into Terminal 2 in Sydney and I was free to cause as much terror as I wanted to. In fact I could fly into Terminal 2 and board a much larger Boeing 737 or Airbus of Jet Star or Virgin Blue (or Qantas Link): I wouldn’t have been required to go through the normal security checks at Terminal 2 as I would have landed and already been in the terminal. This is staggering given the amount of attention our Government has placed on airport security and terrorism since 9/11 and ultimately emphasises how easy it would be for Al Qaeda or other Terrorist Groups to attack Sydney, or any other Australian city.

On the topic of security, Marquette Turner has successfully implemented a security system requiring photo ID to be shown at every open home – we haven’t gone to the extent of x-ray machines or bag searches but we have drastically improved the security at EVERY open home.

Our Government should look at the security at EVERY Australian Airport if it is truly committed to protecting this country. Thankfully it was me that was travelling on that flight – what if it had been a terrorist? The attack we all fear on the harbour city or in Australia in general could easily happen if security at EVERY Airport is not at the same level. Michael Marquette

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