Police have warned G20 protesters that violent elements could infiltrate and hijack peaceful demonstrations on the sidelines of the Brisbane summit.
Police say “violent and destructive elements” could try to hijack peaceful protests on the sidelines of the G20 leaders’ summit in Brisbane.
About 6000 police, including 1500 officers from interstate and New Zealand, will be patrolling the city during the annual summit of world leaders on November 15 and 16.
Assistant Commissioner Katarina Carroll says police already know of 21 planned protests from November 8 until leaders such as US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin depart a week later.
She’s thanked those protest groups for registering with police their intention to protest, but says there’ll be others who won’t.
“One of the greatest challenges faced by both protesters and the Queensland Police Service is that of lawful and peaceful protesters being infiltrated by violent and destructive elements,” she told a G20 information forum on Wednesday.
“Protesters need to be aware of this and remain vigilant.”
She said police would take swift and decisive action against protests that threatened public safety or infrastructure.
Ms Carroll said no-one had been prohibited from attending the G20 so far, but that could change as the event drew nearer.
She said police had been planning for two years for what will be the largest peacetime security operation in Australian history.
Despite Australia’s terror threat level rising to high in September, she said few changes had been made.
“We have always, always planned for every contingency,” Ms Carroll said, but added that the security arrangements were under constant review.
Terry Crane, who heads the G20 State Coordination Unit, said the summit was already reaping rewards for Brisbane.
The Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, which is hosting the forum, had already seen an increase in bookings as a direct result of its capacity to put on an event of such global significance, he said.
A free program of cultural events, including light and sound shows centred on iconic buildings such as Parliament House, will run in the weeks leading up to the summit.
FACTS ABOUT THE G20 LEADERS’ SUMMIT IN BRISBANE:
- The G20, or Group of Twenty, comprises 19 countries, plus the European Union
- G20 leaders meet annually to discuss global economic policy and reforms, financial regulation and trade, among other things
- 27 world leaders and seven leaders of international organisations, deemed “internationally protected persons” will attend the Brisbane summit on November 15 and 16
- Leaders will crisscross Brisbane in highly visible motorcades that will be given green-light runs as they move between airports, forum venues and official hotels
- 6000 police will be on duty in Brisbane
- 3000 domestic and international media are expected to cover the event
- The event will require 10,000 beds at 64 hotels to accommodate leaders, delegates and others
- 100,000 meals will be served to people linked to the G20 across all summit venues
- 5000 delegates and media have already visited Brisbane on advance trips to plan for the summit
- Restricted security zones will apply in parts of the Brisbane CBD, South Brisbane and on routes to and from the airport during the event
- Public disruptions, including to public transport, are expected to be primarily confined to November 14, 15 and 16
SOURCE: Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet; Queensland Police Service