The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has initiated a massive security operation at all of its sites across the nation.
This morning hundreds of private security officers were rapidly assembled outside ABC office buildings and studios in capital cities and regional centres.
The national broadcaster’s head offices at Ultimo in the Sydney CBD were locked down this morning and all staff and visitors have been required to show proof of identity before being admitted to the building. (main picture)
The same scene has played out at other ABC centres in Melbourne, Brisbane, Hobart, Adelaide, Perth, and Darwin.
A spokesperson for ABC chair Ita Buttrose this morning confirmed that security guards had also been posted outside the ABC’s premises in regional centres in all states and territories.
It is understood that special arrangements, which the ABC said could not be disclosed, have been made to protect staff of the Corporation working within the already secure Parliament House in Canberra.
The spokesperson denied that the unprecedented security operation had been prompted by a terrorist threat, or heightened tensions in the wake of the fall of the Afghanistan government to the Taliban, or any risk posed by anti-lockdown or anti-vaccine protesters who have taken to the streets in some cities in recent days.
“No, it’s got nothing to do with any of those developments,” the spokesperson said.
“It’s just that Four Corners will tonight run the first instalment of a two-part series on Rupert Murdoch and his far-right Fox News outfit in the USA which he has replicated here with Sky News.
“We just want to be prepared for any physical backlash from News Corp Australia.
“We are accustomed to their daily anti-ABC rantings and the attacks on the independence of the national broadcaster from outlets like The Australian and its army of conservative columnists for both ideological and transparent commercial reasons.
“Despite their best efforts so far, they haven’t succeeded in destroying the ABC and we figured that the only tactic left in their armoury is a physical attack on the Corporation and its assets and staff.
“So we’ll keep up the security operation for the next few weeks and review it once the second episode of the Four Corners report airs.
“We know there will be a big cost for the added security but we must protect our staff and property and when dealing with News Corp you really can’t be too careful,” the spokesperson said.