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Reducing the impact of network disruption

Safety and resilience of the transport network is a high priority for TMR. The department strives to enhance resilience through effective sharing of information with other agencies and transport partners in the public and private sector, which rely on transport systems. The department also maintains the system’s integrity when disruptive events strike. This section outlines the department’s intelligence-led and risk- based approaches to security planning and the importance of equipping our people with the right skill-mix to appropriately respond to any and all hazard threats as they happen.

Queensland Transport Security Program

Under the Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) Intergovernmental Agreement on Surface Transport Security 2005, Transport Ministers are accountable for delivering transport security outcomes, with a focus on counter-terrorism.

TMR works in partnership with Queensland Police Service (QPS) and surface transport operators to help prepare, prevent, respond and recover from significant security incidents. Operating under the guidance of the National Surface Transport Security Strategy, and the Queensland Counter- Terrorism Strategy, TMR’s Transport Security Program includes:

  • national and state surface transport counter- terrorism policy coordination
  • regulation of—and support to—Queensland’s Security Identified Surface Transport Operations
  • facilitation of South East Queensland’s Transport Precinct Security Program
  • support to State Major Event Security Planning and police operations
  • facilitation of intelligence and information sharing events for transport operators
  • Critical Infrastructure Protection.

National and state surface transport counter- terrorism policy coordination

TMR leads Queensland Government’s representation on the National Transport Security Committee. The Transport Security Committee serves to give effect to the requirements for national policy and program coordination to achieve transport security objectives outlined in COAG’s Intergovernmental Agreement on Surface Transport Security.

TMR is also the functional lead for surface transport and transport infrastructure counter-terrorism arrangements under the Queensland Counter-Terrorism Committee (QCTC). In support of the QCTC, TMR contributed policy and program input into the development of the Queensland Counter- Terrorism Plan.

Regulation of Queensland’s Security Identified Surface Transport Operations

Under COAG’s Intergovernmental Agreement on Surface Transport Security, Transport Ministers have responsibility to ensure state legislation is sufficiently strong to achieve the counter-terrorism and security objectives outlined in the Agreement.

Queensland Government achieves this through the administration of the Transport Security (Counter-Terrorism) Act 2008. Under this Act, TMR identifies high security risk passenger transport operations—Security Identified Surface Transport Operations, or SISTO—and regulates security outcomes for these operators.

There are currently 10 declared SISTO in South East Queensland. All SISTO were compliant with the annual requirements in the legislation and have current counter- terrorism risk management plans. TMR supported counter- terrorism compliance exercises during the year and provided professional guidance on terrorism and security risk management and auditing in response to industry requests for assistance.

Facilitation of South East Queensland’s Transport Precinct Security Program

Following the bombings on the London transport network in July 2005, COAG recommended all governments continue to support an integrated approach to managing the security of key transport precincts. National Guidelines for Transport Precinct Security were established under this recommendation in 2007.

TMR facilitates a Transport Precinct Security Program, which provides security planning, response and coordination opportunities at seven major transport hubs in South East Queensland. During the year TMR facilitated 17 precinct coordination meetings with support from QPS.

Support to State Major Event Security Planning and police operations

COAG’s Intergovernmental Agreement on Surface Transport Security includes the need to ensure response arrangements are in place for security incidents affecting the surface transport sector.

In support of major events, TMR works with QPS, local governments and transport operators for security planning. This includes security risk advice, and planning coordination.

Facilitation of intelligence and information sharing events for transport operators

TMR assists QPS in ensuring transport sector operators receive the latest intelligence on the threat of terrorism and are regularly engaged in security planning and exercising and have access to contemporary guidance on broader security risk management. During the year, TMR facilitated transport security community of practice workshops for declared SISTO, and an ‘All-In’ Forum for SISTO, Precinct members and other sector stakeholders. TMR also assisted other agency partners in security exercise planning and delivery.

Critical Infrastructure Protection

TMR supports various critical infrastructure forums under national and state arrangements in consultation with the Commonwealth under COAG’s Intergovernmental Agreement on Surface Transport Security. During the year TMR participated in the combined Trusted Information Sharing Network (TISN) workshops to develop shared understanding of cross sector dependencies to enhance resilience arrangements across Queensland.

TMR assisted Department of Home Affairs Critical Infrastructure Centre to gather information to support the mandatory introduction of arrangements for declared transport infrastructure operators under the Australia’s Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018.

Protective Security arrangements

TMR’s Internal (Protective) Security team has dedicated staff to help manage the investigation and response to security incidents affecting departmental staff, customers, facilities and assets.

Security reviews and risk assessments were conducted at various locations during the year to ensure TMR staff were safe, information and physical assets were protected and facilities secured from trespass and other unlawful interference.

Queensland Disaster Management Arrangements

The Queensland Disaster Management Act 2003 sets the framework within which TMR delivers its responsibilities through active participation in the Queensland Disaster Management Arrangements, providing functional support in the area of transport systems and as the hazard-specific lead agency for any ship-sourced pollution events.

As a member of Queensland Disaster Management Committee, the Leadership Board Recovery Sub-Committee and chair of the Roads and Transport Functional Recovery Group, the Director-General leads TMR’s support of recovery and reconstruction for disaster affected communities and provides strategic oversight for implementation and delivery of resilience initiatives.

TMR’s continued membership of State Disaster Coordination Group (SDCG) enables TMR to contribute to protocols to improve planning for and response to disruptive events in Queensland. As a member of this group, TMR plays an important role in the focusing of SDCG’s activities across response, recovery and resilience, positioning TMR to respond to new and emerging issues.

In February 2019, the Flood Recovery Road Access Group (FRRAG) was stood up to support Queensland Government’s recovery effort for the Townsville floods. FRRAG’s key responsibility was to coordinate access into and out of Townsville and surrounding flood affected communities to ensure priority access was facilitated for critical tasks and related heavy vehicle movements.

FRRAG worked closely with industry, government agencies (including Department of Defence, QFES, QPS, Queensland Health and local governments) and various non-government agencies. At stand-down FRRAG spent 43 days on call (24/7) providing operational support for affected regions, issuing of 31 critical access permits, 11 information bulletins and numerous general updates via social media.

Disaster assistance

When Queensland Government activates the Personal Hardship Assistance Scheme, the department provides a natural disaster and drought assistance package for eligible registered operators.

When person lives or has a vehicle garaged in an area where the Personal Hardship Assistance Scheme has been activated, they may be eligible for the following assistance:

  • no administration surcharge for short term registration renewals.
  • no registration renewal reinstatement fees
  • no replacement fees for standard issue number plates
  • no replacement fees for lost and/or damaged driver licence and photo identity cards
  • no replacement fees for lost and/or damaged public passenger transport driver authorisations, heavy vehicle work diaries, industry authorities including accreditation documentation and identify cards, books of certificates of inspection, modification certificates or standard issued number plates.
  • options for disability parking permits
  • options for payment of lost or damaged infringement notices
  • extension of time for certificates of inspection for heavy vehicles and public passenger vehicles
  • option to extend dormant seasonal vehicle registration period up to two years
  • options for fodder transport.

For more information on disaster and drought assistance

Business Continuity

TMR enables and maintains business continuity and disruptive event management programs across the department. TMR’s Continuity and Disruption Management Policy, introduced in 2017, established the requirement for the department to undertake business continuity and disruption management planning and activities using an all hazards approach. The Business Continuity program continues to evolve, with department-wide promotion through Business Continuity Awareness Week and the establishment of a community of practice to develop and enhance awareness, share knowledge, build capability, and develop and facilitate divisional exercises.

One important business continuity component delivered in TMR is the annual Preseason Program. The Program, established in 2010, supports TMR in its capacity to prepare for, respond to and recover from a disruptive event whilst continuing to deliver its essential functions. The Program’s delivery positions TMR externally as a trusted advisor during times of disaster or significant disruption. It supports TMR’s risk management framework and disruptive event management approach, enabling the department to undertake its functional role and responsibilities under the Queensland State Disaster Management Plan through participation at District Disaster Management Groups.

The 2018 Program was structured to address the changing emergency management and transport security landscape, reflecting whole of government direction relevant to TMR. An exercise focusing on a large disruptive event was undertaken, exercising districts’ response to business continuity impacts. Education and Awareness sessions were also undertaken, providing district staff with information on numerous relevant current issues such as, state-wide traffic operations supporting disruptive event preparation and response, bushfire management in road corridors, weather forecasts to inform wet season planning and preparation, and lessons management.

The Program is one of several used by the department to assist with all hazards disruptive event preparedness.

ICT Asset Disaster Recovery Plan

It is vital that TMR’s integrated transport network is accessible in times of disruptive events. A critical part of this is ensuring our ICT systems are available so TMR can continue to provide essential ICT services to the community and support frontline departmental services.

As part of TMR’s ICT resiliency activities, we conduct Business Impact Assessments to understand criticality of ICT systems and their interdependencies. In 2018, the department conducted ten ICT disaster recovery exercises to test the resilience of our core network, platform and core application platforms. The testing provides opportunities for improvement across elements of people, processes and technology.

Additionally, we have a significant focus on ensuring our service provides ICT resilience and availability requirements are met.

Exercise Torres

In August and September 2018, Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority conducted one of the largest oil spill response exercises ever held in Queensland. Exercise Torres 2018 was a hazard specific disaster management exercise based on a ship- sourced oil spill impacting the remote, environmentally and culturally significant waters of the Torres Strait and Kaiwalagal Region.

The multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional exercise was held two phases:

  • Phase one—the strategic phase of the exercise focused on high level decision making during a marine pollution incident response examining consequence management, community engagement and communication arrangements and strategies
  • Phase two—the operational phase consisted of a two- day field exercise in Cairns and the Torres Strait on Thursday, Poruma and Warraber Islands. One of the main exercise priorities was to engage with the local community and Traditional Owners of the Torres Strait and the Kaiwalagal Region and include them in all aspects of the exercise.

Over 500 people from local, state and federal government, industry, the local community and Traditional Owners of the Torres Strait and the Kaiwalagal Region, were involved in the exercise. Exercise participants demonstrated a proactive, agile and adaptive learning culture which made the exercise a valuable learning opportunity. This commitment, coupled with a passionate and willing approach from the community throughout the exercise, resulted in positive exercise and incident preparedness outcomes.

For outcomes from Exercise Torres 2018

Group of staff and community members participating in a shoreline boom, long flotation device suspended in the water

MSQ staff and the community participating in a shoreline boom deployment on Warraber Island, Torres Strait.