Home Siege Lindt Café Inquest, Part 21: The Role of the Army Engineers

Lindt Café Inquest, Part 21: The Role of the Army Engineers


armyJuly 7, 2016, an Australian soldier, center left, and a U.S. Marine, right, get ready to raid a building at a mock urban combat training center in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.  

by Malcolm R Hughes 

This article is a response to the statement, dated May 16, 2016, by Jeremy Gormly, QC, that was quoted by Mary Maxwell in Part 18 of this series:

 “The ADF had built a mock-up of the Lindt Cafe at Holsworthy Army Base to trial and rehearse forced entry. It offered the facility to the NSW Police for training, although as we have heard in evidence that offer could not be taken up on the night.”

Now that I know of the “mock-up” Lindt Café, and the admittance by the Military that it does exist, I believe that Monis was not the initiator of the Sydney Siege.

Having served in the Army, I suspect that I know a little of their procedures unless those procedures have completely changed, since my service. A project like building a mock-up facility is not decided upon in 5 minutes by a sergeant on the parade ground.

There is a system, the chain-of-command, in which a decision of this sort is made by VERY senior officers, probably at a meeting. Once the decision to go ahead has been made, the order is passed down the chain to less senior officers and then to N.C.O.’s.

In this case, for the facility to be built on the day of the Siege, firstly the ADF would need to be notified of the siege and that would not have been in the first 10 minutes.

The Police would have to decide on what was happening, then make a decision on what their own actions would be, on the ground and also at a meeting at Police Headquarters.

Based on the initial information to this organisation, why would they think that they needed to be involved when the incident was apparently, a one-man show (Monis)?

Further inquiries would need to be made of the Police, before the Army stepped in, in any capacity. All these operations take time before there is a decision to become involved. Then there would be a meeting of senior officers to discuss in what way the Army could and is allowed by law to participate.

Proceeding to Build 

A decision to build this “mock-up” building is made by these officers. They then need to pass along the chain of command their plan. However, this is when time is really used up. There is paper work to be prepared before anything can be commenced.

Written orders to R.A.E. (Royal Australian Engineers) who will build and supply material. Then the R.A.E. will have to provide paperwork to their Unit Store to release the materials.

But before that can happen the measurements of the building have to be decided upon. If the size is to be the same as the original, how and where do these measurements come from at short notice? Also who in the Army knows what materials are used in the original construction?

On the subject of materials for shop front or home building, it is very unlikely to be laying around an Army Engineers yard and would need to be purchased. If the building was to be of the same materials as the original, it is unlikely that a civilian supplier could provide large glass panels at short notice.

Where was the “mock up” to be situated? On site at the Engineers yard or elsewhere? If it were to be erected anywhere else but the Engineers yard, transport for materials would have  to be arranged, which means more time and paperwork plus other personnel probably from another unit. (Truck drivers.)

Once all this is organized, the time taken to erect the building is several hours. All this supposedly in part of ONE day? Someone is having a lend of us!

Then the ADF tell us that the use was offered to the NSW Police, but they didn’t take up the offer that day. How could they, their hands were already full and how much of the day had passed by the time the building was erected???

Don’t forget Holsworthy is not 5 minutes from Sydney or it wasn’t when I was based at Ingleburn.

Because of the above I cannot believe that the “mock up”Lindt Cafe was built on the day of the Siege, but had to have been built previously. WHY? This question needs to be asked and answered.

army engineersArmy.gov.au: The role of the Royal Australian Engineers is to provide geospatial, combat and force-support engineering capabilities to enable joint manoeuvre and survivability.

The Mysterious Date

So far I have not tracked down the Report made to a Senate inquiry by Air Marshal Binskin of the ADF. Dee McLachlan has sent a “Please explain” note to the Defence Media Office hoping to ascertain when the mock-up was built.

I did however see, in News.com.au, this item dated May 4 2016 ( about two weeks before Gormly’s statement):

Earlier, the inquest heard that high-risk domestic incidents had prevented police being able to rehearse plans for storming the cafe using a mock-up built by the Australian Federal Police.

“Our resource was fully committed to not only the Martin Place siege incident but we had a number of other high risk domestic-related incidents at the time,” the commander said.

“We didn’t have the capacity. We had the people to go out there but they were actively engaged in high-risk activities.”

The commander is expected to continue his evidence before NSW Coroner Michael Barnes on Thursday.

I also note that in April, 2014 (before the December 2014 siege), Binskin was made Chief of the Defence Force, with an effective date of July, 2014. This write-up is by news.com.au, dated April 4, 2014:

From the streets of south western Sydney to the head of the Australian Defence Force, it’s been a long journey for Air Marshal Mark Binskin.

The avid motorcycle rider, who began his career with a brief stint in the navy before rising up the RAAF ranks, has been confirmed to take over from David Hurley.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott made the announcement in Canberra this morning, “As of July, General Hurley will be retiring. Air Marshal Binskin will be taking over as the Chief of Defence Force,” Mr Abbott told reporters.

I will inform Gumshoe as soon as I find the Senate report.

— Mal Hughes lives in Western Australia.


Top AP Photo: Audrey McAvoy
Photo 2: Army.gov.au


  1. Mal, I notice that the above photo came from army.gov.au.

    In America, the army and navy websites aren’t dot-gov; they are dot mil. Just had a thought: Does that mean the military is no longer under the government?

    (I mean, I know it isn’t but are they now admitting it?)

      • “I did however see, in News.com.au, this item dated May 4 2016 ( about two weeks before Gormly’s statement):

        Earlier, the inquest heard that high-risk domestic incidents had prevented police being able to rehearse plans for storming the cafe using a mock-up built by the Australian Federal Police.”

        So which is it AFP or the ADF?

  2. Last night two proverbs entered my head, I think they are original, and could relate to the Gumshoenews community.

    “In the search for truth and justice, the walk is slow, but each step is firm and true.”

    “In many a nest, there is possibly a bad egg.”

  3. I would have found the cafe plans from Clover, ducked into Bunnings, obtained all material required, run up the mock cafe in the back yard and housed my chooks in it by miday.

  4. Attention Everyone:
    I clicked on the photo at top of Mal’s article and read this:
    “In Hawaii, the Marines and Australian soldiers have been integrating their troops during exercises.

    “A Marine platoon has been operating as part of an Australian company. An Australian platoon, meanwhile, has been operating as part of a U.S. Marine company.”

    • http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/05/08/terr-m08.html

      “Wide legal powers do exist to deploy the military internally, along the lines seen in Boston. Military callout legislation was introduced, with no public debate, in 2000, on the pretext of protecting the Sydney Olympics, and expanded in 2006, in the name of shielding the Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

      “In an ‘emergency,’ two government ministers or the armed forces chief can call out the military. Soldiers can then can seize buildings, places and means of transport, detain people, search premises and seize possessions. If the ministers declare a “general security area,” these powers expand to include personal searches, erection of barriers and stopping means of transport.

      “If a ‘designated area’ is declared within a general security zone, troops can control all movements of traffic and people, and issue directions to individuals.
      Military personnel can also interrogate people and order the handing over of documents. [You] can be jailed for non-compliance.”

      • Mal, none of the above 3 paragraphs was written by me. It all came from the source shown at top. “World Socialist” which I have found relieble in other matters (and usually has zilch to so with a socialist theme). I should not have quoted it raw. I did not look up the corresponding law. (But you can!)

        In general when martial law occurs, other law is suppressed. It is “martial” law because the commands are issued by an officer of the military. This did happen in Louisiana in 2005 during the Hurricane. But also as I said, the military commanders may have been mercenaries.

        Bottom line: it’s not something you want to have happen to you.

  5. Mary, I am astounded at the information you have provided, regards internal Military interference. You state that this is legal, but remember a great number of our laws are ILLEGAL, as they do not conform to the CONSTITUTION. Unfortunately until someone has the time and finances to challenge in the High Court, illegal government activity will go unchallenged.

    In my opinion the judiciary itself should be disallowing this illegal activity, as they are the interpreters of the Constitution. The so called legal advisers to government, know very well that many laws that they themselves draw up are illegal.

    Sir Ninian Stephens, as Governor General, illegally signed off on the Corporation of The Commonwealth of Australia Act 1986.
    This piece of legislation does not and cannot comply with the Constitution, as a Sovereign Nation cannot operate under two sets of rules. The C.C.A.Act is governed by the rules of a foreign nation, the U.S.

    The only way that this legislation could be legal is that the people would have to vote via a referendum that the Constitution of Australia become null and void and another vote by referendum to accept that the Corporation of the Commonwealth of Australia Act 1986 become law.

  6. I have an apology to make, it appears that the information I placed in relation to the Corporation of the Commonwealth of Australia Act 1986 is incorrect. I cannot relocate what I thought I had read on the internet sometime ago.

  7. I add to my previous comment. In my search for the Act that I mentioned in my previous comment, I have proof that the Commonwealth of Australia is registered in the U.S. State of Delaware, as a corporation. The registration is under the name:
    Commonwealth of Australia LLC. File Number 3961471.

    • Hello QuietEyes, welcome to Gumshoe News.

      We try not to use the word “hoax” — though you are welcome to use it — as some people think it means the event did not tke place at all.

      See the search engine at top? Type “Bella Vista” and you’ll get Gumshoe’s fave hoax, which truly did not take place. Dee McLachlan (the editor around here) thinks she is going to get the Nobel Prize (or possibly even a Walkley) for discovering that hoax.

      • Hello and thank you for the link”Bella Vista” After finally looking for , and finding the rat i could smell throughout the world last year, I spent many many months contemplating the significance of all the False Flags and/or dare i say h**xes. When the realisation that mainstream media is complete misinformation the journey began. Of course in my naivete it took me a while longer to ask the question “Does it happen here in Australia”? So I’m sure you can empathise with my disgust from which just a little research enlightened. So once again thank you and your team for standing up for what is right, and shame on all the so called journalists in this country who have the responsibility of speaking the truth, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. Ps Do you really want a Nobel prize, i think its been discredited enough with Obama getting one 🙂

        • Quieteyes, I see your point. But Kissinger got a Nobel in 1973. Here is a quote from his acceptance speech.

          “As Alfred Nobel recognised, peace cannot be achieved by one man or one nation. It results from the efforts of men of broad vision and goodwill throughout the world. The accomplishments of individuals need not be remembered, for if lasting peace is to come it will be the accomplishment of all mankind.”

          Maybe God shouldn’t have given us tongues? Or writing fingers?

  8. this is incredibly funny that people could buy the story of a mockup being made on the day of the siege.

    This is a bit like like the 3-d computer animation that was released free within 24 hours of bin laden being shot.

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