Anti-terrorism measures implemented to keep us safe may change the way the Hunter marks Anzac Day | photos, poll

Anti-terrorism measures introduced to protect crowds at Anzac Day services across the Hunter may change the way we remember the servicemen and women who went to war. 

Police have confirmed no threat has been made but said they will be taking precautions in a bid to keep the region safe. 

The changes come after the attack on Bastille Day in Nice last year where a truck drove into a crowd and killed at least 84 people. 

Maitland’s Anzac Day march from Church Street to Maitland Park will attract more security measures to help prevent such an attack, police said. 

Similar measures to stop a vehicle-style attack were put in place at Maitland’s New Years Eve celebrations on the river bank.

The measures are expected to increase the cost of executing the Anzac Day traffic management plan and RSL sub-branches will be left to foot the bill. 

Four Anzac Day marches in the Blue Mountains region have already been cancelled after sub-branches could not meet the cost.

A NSW RSL Sub-Branch spokeswoman told Fairfax Media smaller sub-branches would find it hard to meet the cost, which could see smaller marches cancelled across the state.

She said the matter had been raised with NSW Veterans Affairs Minister David Elliott’s office and NSW Police Minister Troy Grant. 

Maitland RSL Sub-Branch president Eric Bell said some sub-branches had been forced to pay up to $13,000 to implement the traffic management plan in the past. 

He said Maitland council paid their bill and if the cost went up the committee would look for a sponsor before it considered cancelling the march. 

“It would be a shame if we have to cancel the march,” Mr Bell said.

Maitland’s traffic management plan, and others across the Hunter region, are yet to be finalised.

Central Hunter operations officer Acting Inspector David Bender said police had to consider a wide range of possibilities when policing large events and they were committed to keeping the public safe. 

A NSW Police Media spokeswoman said police monitored incidents across the country and overseas and assessed whether there were any potential impacts on local events.

She said traffic management plans, which formed part of the operational strategy at events, were “consistently reviewed to determine whether any additional measures are required”. 

"With any major event, police conduct security assessments, implement plans, and provide advice to event organisers and other relevant agencies, to ensure the safety and security of participants, volunteers, and the wider community,” she said. 

Mr Grant said it was up to local councils to fund Anzac Day services, but it would meet with Blue Mountains City Council about its concerns.

North West Metropolitan Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Denis Clifford, said he would also meet with the organisers to attempt to resolve the situation and ensure the event was not affected.

Mr Grant said the state government had offered to give the Blue Mountains council some money to help fund the road management plan. 

“It is perplexing that the Blue Mountains City Council can afford a $130,000 campaign opposing Badgerys Creek airport, yet it cannot afford to honour our veterans,” Mr Grant said. 


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