Sydney Airport chief Max Moore-Wilton called for an
airport body to be urgently set up, and for governments
to "get their act together".
NSW Police Minister Carl Scully backed the plan,
insisting the crime alleged in the leaked classified
Customs report detailed in The Australian this week,
occurred solely in areas governed by the commonwealth.
"There needs to be a co-ordinated approach to dealing
with all issues relating to crime and security at Sydney
airport, and indeed at all major airports in Australia
and that clearly still doesn't happen," Mr Moore-Wilton
The federal Government has made counter-terrorism a
priority at airports since the September 11 attacks and
has given the Australian Protective Service little more
than a terrorism first-response role.
Mr Anderson admitted last night more needed to be
done to fight other forms of crime at Australian
Airport security officials joined Mr Anderson and Mr
Moore-Wilton in acknowledging that terrorism could no
longer be treated in isolation from criminal issues.
"The whole issue of law enforcement in airports I
think is now open to question, Mr Moore-Wilton said.
"And I think the general public is now concerned that
airports are not as safe as they should be."
The comments follow four days of embarrassment from
the secret Customs report alleging baggage handlers,
airport security screeners and other airport workers
with secure passes, were involved in organised crime.
Mr Anderson strongly defended his record on aviation
security and his claim to federal Parliament that the
concerns raised in the Customs report had largely been
He also said he had acted quickly on a letter written
two weeks ago by Mr Moore-Wilton alerting him to the
need for more co-ordination.
"As soon as that was received it was passed to the
He said another crackdown was needed on issuing
secure airside passes and said ASIO found the need to
get access to five different state and federal databases
before issuing a pass "frustrating".
Mr Anderson said the NSW Government had removed state
police from the airport and its offer to return them at
$80 each an hour was "ludicrous".
He called on NSW to urgently reopen the airport
police station it closed last year.
Mr Scully dismissed the suggestion, insisting
airports were clearly a federal responsibility.
He said no airport worker should have a serious
criminal conviction. And he called for law changes to
ensure airport workers were banned from associating with
any known criminal and for their bags to be checked
entering and leaving work.
After announcing another baggage handler had been
sacked yesterday, Qantas chief executive officer Geoff
Dixon called on the state Government to commit to a
permanent police station at Sydney Airport. "Of the 100
major airports in the world, only three do not have a
permanent, uniformed police presence dedicated to
community policing - Brisbane, Sydney and Mumbai," Mr