Dr Mumbo

ASIO chasing The Chaser?

It was one of the stunts of 2007 when the Chaser boys made international headlines by getting some of the tightest security checkpoints on earth to get to the front door of then US President George W. Bush’s hotel.

While there was no repeat at the G20 in Brisbane Dr Mumbo was intrigued to hear the Queensland Police Service (QPS) asked about it at yesterday’s PRIA national conference.

When Matthew Rigby, executive editor of the QPS, was asked how they avoided a repeat he told the audience: “In terms of our friends The Chasers… I think there were two factors and (fellow panellist) Greg Swan (from Brisbane City Council) touched on this earlier — our Commonwealth colleagues from ASIO that don’t have surnames.”

He went on to tell the room: “There’s a really broad intelligence world that exists, and not that we can go into detail about that, but agencies collaborate across the world and across Australia in that space.”

That space? An intriguing statement… but were the spy agencies actually monitoring the Chaser boys?

Surely not, but Rigby then told the room they also had full contingencies should Chas Licciardello have shown up again in an Osama bin Laden costume.

“I think the other thing we learnt from APEC was that there was a continual series of fences there and if you can imagine putting a fence around the entire Brisbane CBD and if someone gets through that fence, there might be another fence closer to the event and then another fence even closer to the event.”

“(The Chaser) made it through those guards but we learnt through that process — we knew what vehicle access passes would be, we knew what time those vehicles would be arriving and I dare to say if someone had turned up they wouldn’t have got through.

“The systems were reviewed and in place to try and make that happen.”

Good to know the Queensland Police had the full measure of threats big and small.


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