Australian water organisations currently rank within the nine sectors identified by the Federal Government under the category of Critical Infrastructure (CI), as designated by the Attorney General's Department. As such, water from a CI protection perspective is considered to be a vulnerable target for terrorism. Major global terrorist incidents such as the attack in New York in 2001 coupled with the media interest and associated amplification have highlighted the need for organisations to protect water infrastructure from future attacks. The Victorian Government is leading the path to terrorism risk reduction of CI by the introduction of an Act of Parliament Terrorism (Community Protection) Act 2003, assuring that risk mitigation is in place across the state. One requirement under this Act is to annually practice plans and procedures in the form of scripted Crisis Simulation Exercises (CSE). These CSEs are to ensure that water organisations are more resilient to meet the challenge and maintain business continuity during any future terrorist incident. This includes the interactions and timings of available resources, logistics with appropriate personnel as required and to the appropriate level indicated in the plans. These CSEs can incorporate live actions, testing equipment and personnel within all organisational levels. It is considered that CI organisations which adopt these strategies enhance business survival and continuity, producing a resilient entity prepared for and resistant to penetration by an organised terrorist group or radical cell. This paper provides an overview of a simulation framework to ensure preparedness suitable for mitigation of risk of terrorism in relation to the Australian water industry.
Terrorism has progressed to a global phenomenon as a terrorist attack has an immediate effect on society not only in the targeted area, but also across the rest of the world. Acts of terrorism are extremely difficult to predict or provide early warning in most cases. In consideration of Australia, which is to a certain extent insulated from the rest of the world by virtue of the sea barrier, there is a history of terrorist incidents reported back to the 1970s. Since the attack on New York in September 2001, the level of terrorism alert to Australia has increased significantly with a current 'Medium' national level of threat. Critical Infrastructure (CI), which is considered essential for contemporary social human existence, has been impacted by multiple and variable external threats in modern times. The destruction at Chernobyl in 1986 and more recent events such as the terrorist incidents at Madrid in 2004, London in 2005, Moscow in 2011 and the tsunami in Japan in 2011 indicate the vulnerability of this infrastructure. Such events translate to threats from both natural disasters referred to as all hazard origin and human interventions such as terrorism. Subsequently, some private and government organisations of CI now regularly rehearse and simulate models of both terrorist incidents and all hazard events as a proactive protection strategy and business continuity process. These models are implemented in a form of scripted Crisis Simulation Exercises (CSE) which simulate a crisis within an organisation in order to strengthen an organisation's ability to manage crisis situations. CI organisations which adopt these strategies are able to mitigate impact of these crises and therefore, are considered to reflect a more resilient organisation to the effects of external impact. CSEs test plans, procedures, equipment and personnel to industry standards required. Within the spectrum of counter-terrorism in particular, the CSEs are becoming more sophisticated and reflective of reality with incorporation of live actions to ensure credibility and reality. The simulated scenario may include a variety of attack methodologies such as biological, chemical, cyber and conventional bombs/blasts and bullets to maintain exercise standards with continuously developing technology of terrorist attacks. This paper defines the topic of terrorism with the profile of terrorists, and examines the terrorism concept and environment both in Australia and internationally including future considerations. It also provides an overview of the simulated framework for mitigation of crisis associated with CI protection with an Australian perspective, suitable for CI protection worldwide. Additionally, this paper examines the concept of terrorism simulation, illustrating a strong case for future simulation progression with some innovative ideas and futuristic predictions as to where terrorist simulations may advance to across the future.