The NSW Government and its agencies are responsible for the operational response to a terrorist act within NSW, with the primary considerations being to minimise loss of life, prevent further incidents and recover as quickly as possible. At all times NSW maintains responsibility for the operational management and deployment of police and emergency services within the State. Throughout any terrorist incident the public will be kept up to date through a range of different communications mediums. See further details on the public information section.
Response to incidents of terrorism requires a diverse range of resources, skills and knowledge and requires clearly defined lines of command and control. The NSW Counter Terrorism Plan is a NSW Government Plan to inform the general public, business, those working in the counter terrorism field and government. It outlines responsibilities, authorities and the mechanisms to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from acts of terrorism within New South Wales. The NSW Counter Terrorism Plan takes an inclusive approach to countering terrorism, developing strong linkages across NSW Government agencies, the community and the Australian, state and territory governments.
The NSW Commissioner of Police is responsible for the response to, and management of, a terrorist incident within NSW. NSW uses an Integrated Command and Control Model to effectively manage such an incident. Police will establish a Police Forward Command Post at the incident site under the command of a Police Forward Commander. If Police require support from other agencies, the Incident Command and Control Model provides for a Senior Police Officer (the Site Controller) to attend the site and take control of the supporting emergency services and functional agencies which may include transport, health, engineering and welfare services. In the event of an attack involving multiple locations, the Police Commander may appoint a number of Police Forward Commanders to manage the respective sites.
For terrorist incidents, NSW establishes the State Operations Centre, which is a consolidation of the Police Operations Centre and the State Emergency Operations Centre. This unique arrangement is designed to effectively control both crisis and consequence management operations. The State Operations Centre is under the control of a nominated Police Commander.
Immediately following a terrorist incident, the NSW Police Force will establish one, or multiple, Terrorist Incident Reception Centres. A Terrorism Incident Reception Centre is the initial reception point for victims who are immediately affected by a terrorist incident, and is a temporary facility intended to meet the immediate investigative needs of the NSW Police Force. The Terrorism Incident Reception Centre allows the NSW Police to triage and interview witnesses, provide support for victims, and remove individuals from the scene. Depending on the nature of the incident, a Terrorist Incident Reception Centre may involve multiple agencies across the NSW Government, ranging from other Policing authorities through to health and social services.
As soon as practicable after a suspected terrorist incident, a Recovery Centre may be established to coordinate the delivery of financial and psychological support to people adversely affected by the incident. A Recovery Centre is a one stop shop that centralises services available through the Australian Government, NSW Government and non-government organisations. These centres streamline service provision to people adversely affected by the incident, and openly recognise the importance of empowering members of the community to find assistance they require to re-establish themselves.
NSW constantly evaluates its capability and plans through operational deployment and a comprehensive exercise and training regime to develop, maintain and test counter terrorism capabilities. Where practicable, NSW considers the necessity for interoperability with other Australian, state and territory governments' capabilities.