Brisbane venues eye multi-million dollar security drive

The Queensland Government is to invest Aus$8.3m (€5.3m/US$6.1m/£4.7m) in facial recognition technology and other tools  in a bid to enhance security at a number of major venues in Brisbane.

The technology was successfully used at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane and is already in place at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The Gabba (pictured) and Suncorp Stadium are among the venues that are also now set to benefit from the technology, with work already underway.

Local newspaper the Sunday Mail reported that the move comes after a review of stadium security last year identified a number of failings at certain facilities in the city.

Queensland Sports Minister Mick de Brenni, who led the review, said that the addition of the technology forms part of a wider security push at the venues.

The new initiative will also include eliminating CCTV blind spots, narrowing the width of the fence around venues and installing anti-ramming barriers.

“Last year we saw some isolated cases of unacceptable behaviour from individuals in our venues, but around the world we’ve seen tactics used by people that want to instil fear,” de Brenni said.

“So we’re moving ahead of the game and taking action to make sure that every patron who visits one of our venues can feel safe.

“This is about upholding the integrity of the venues, and it is about upholding the integrity of the game.

“This work is ongoing – as threats change, the measures we employ to keep Queenslanders safe need to stay ahead of those who might want to do us harm.

“I’ve made it clear to the Stadiums Queensland Board that this work is high priority and will remain high priority.

“Some of our venues hold more than 50,000 people at a time. I want every single one of those people to know that while they are in one of our venues, they can feel safe.”

Image: Rae Allen