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Thursday, 6 February, 2003, 11:06 GMT
Australians given anti-terror packs
Terrorism survival kit
The kit is being sent to every home
Every Australian citizen is to receive a government-issued anti-terrorism pack delivered to their doorsteps in the next few days.

The pack includes a 20-page booklet entitled "Let's look out for Australia", which gives first aid advice and tips for spotting potential terrorists.

It also contains a refrigerator magnet with a 24-hour hotline number, and a suggested list of items to stock in case of emergency - including a supply of food and drink, sunscreen, a battery-powered radio and even a pack of playing cards to while away the time.

The pack also contains a letter from Prime Minister John Howard calling for Australians to "strike the right balance between sensible precaution and unnecessary alarm".

Australia has heightened its security levels in the wake of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Bali bombings last October, which killed 88 Australians and 100 others.

The government campaign is part of a plan outlined by Mr Howard in December, following warnings of a possible terrorist attack on Australian soil.

Security worries

The new initiative was launched on Monday by Attorney-General Daryl Williams.

His spokeswoman Carina Tan-Van Baren told BBC News Online the pack was designed to put the threat of a terrorist attack "into perspective".

Tourists lay bouquets of flowers at the blast
Australia's sense of security was shattered by the Bali bombings
She said it would "answer questions about what the authorities are doing to safeguard Australia's security, and what members of the public can do themselves."

The booklet calls on Australians to be vigilant for unusual behaviour, suspicious vehicles in public places and people taking pictures of public buildings.

The mailing is the second stage in the government's anti-terrorism campaign.

In December, a press awareness campaign was launched, featuring advertisements of security forces checking for car bombs and X-raying airline baggage, as well as people playing cricket and attending a barbecue.

The adverts urged people to phone the 24-hour security hotline if they saw anything suspicious.

Ms Tan-Van Baren said the telephone hotline had so far received over 5,000 calls, many of which have yielded useful information.

Divided opinion

The government's campaign has received both support and criticism from the Australian public.

Carpenter Wayne Shanks, aged 44, told the Associated Press he thought the pack was a good idea.

"It's a big country. It's good if everyone can keep an eye out," he said.

But the mayor of Brisbane, Australia's third largest city, has urged people to mail their packs straight back where they came from.


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29 Dec 02 | Asia-Pacific
27 Dec 02 | Asia-Pacific
19 Dec 02 | Asia-Pacific
03 Dec 02 | Asia-Pacific
01 Dec 02 | Asia-Pacific
31 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
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