Home "Terrorism" When was the Lindt Café Mock-up Built?

When was the Lindt Café Mock-up Built?


mock-upUS Green Berets  practice clearing a mock-up building during a training exercise in Florida

by Dee McLachlan

The mainstream media reported that the army set up a mock Lindt Cafe during the Martin Place siege and practiced storming the building. au.news.yahoo.com:

“The drills went on for six hours at the Holsworthy Army barracks, so commandos could work out how to penetrate the building from different entry points. New South Wales Police say it was to pass on tactical information to its crews…”

Army veteran, Malcolm Hughes, wrote this in his Gumshoe News article:

“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.

Not wanting to leave it at that, Malcolm Hughes searched Hansard for information about the Australian Defense Force (ADF) role and found an astonishing confrontation between Senator Stephen Conroy and Air Marshall Mark Binskin. Long story short the ADF would not give simple information to Parliament.

I thus decided to write to the Army’s media person to get confirmation as to when the mock-up of the Lindt Cafe was built. You may wish to guess ahead to the reply they sent me.

Here is the correspondence:

Dear Sir, Madam,

I am editor of Gumshoe News operating out of Melbourne and we have been following the Martin Place Siege Inquest. I would appreciate it if you could just  answer the following question:

  1. What date, i.e.; when was this mock-up of the Lindt Café built at the Holsworthy Army Base?
  2. We read that the ADF practiced for some 6 hours – so why did the NSW police not take up the offer of training in the mock up café?
  3. Is there any reason why those who had practised in the mock up were not used in the actual siege?

We would most appreciate a reply. Many thanks


Good afternoon Dee,

Thank for your enquiry. Find below the response, please attribute the below to a Defence spokesperson, not a named individual.

The Australian Government, including the Department of Defence, is cooperating fully with the NSW Coroner during his inquest into the events which occurred during the Lindt Cafe siege.

It is not appropriate for Defence to comment on a matter that is currently before the NSW Coroner.

Many thanks for the response.

I do understand that my questions 2 and 3 are related to the tactical decisions taken by the police (and army) that day and may be inappropriate to answer before the Coroner has presented his conclusions.

However, my question 1, is purely factual. Is it possible for you to answer my first question?

  1. . What date was this mock-up of the Lindt Café built?

Many thanks


Good afternoon Dee,

Questions regarding the proceedings of the inquest into the deaths arising from the Lindt Cafe siege should be directed to the inquest itelf.

For media inquiries please see the inquest’s media page at: http://www.lindtinquest.justice.nsw.gov.au/Pages/media.aspx.


Defence Media | Department of Defence


In conclusion, it is clear that the general public is excluded from any sensitive information.

Photo – Sgt. Stephen Cline



  1. How about replying “We built it that very morning” or “We built it 2 years before the siege.” Or anything. They are only making it much worse for themselves by acting secretive.

    Hmm. What is the need for secrecy Folks?

    Très embarassment.

  2. I particularly like the straw question that gets a straw answer. That’s where someone rephrases your question into a more convenient manner, and answers that instead. You weren’t really asking when it was built were you Dee. “What date was the mock-up built” is so nuanced and has so many possible interpretations. They are just being helpful.

  3. This exchange confirms that the “mock-up of the Lindt Café” had some sort of bearing on the deaths of Katrinna Dawson, Tori Johnson & Man Haron Monis. Does it not ?

    • Too much jumping to conclusions that may have a reasonable answer.

      Dee, there is some ‘new blood’ in Federal Parliament. Perhaps you might send your correspondence with a nice cover letter to the ‘representatives of the people’ and see if they can get any straight answers to your question. I’d ask for full particulars of the building of the mock-up.

      Heck, you might even travel to Canberra to walk the halls and visit with them, although, you might want to take a shower afterwards.

      • Terry, it was I who brought up the Holsworthy thing only because it jumped out at me from a document published by Jeremy Gormly. He said:
        “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.” [Emphasis added]

        What I could not understand was the Inquest’s not following up on that. Could they not call Binskin in to give testimony? Am I incorrect to think they can call anyone in?

        Personally, I imagine the mock-up doesn’t have much significance. Its very existence is probably a lie. But as we see from the reply to Dee (“Good afternoon, Dee”), there is a bit of pussyfooting. Naturally I agree with your suggestion to visit New Blood.
        All hail the new blood.

  4. Ok I am getting seriously sick of the Canberra Mocking Bird Hill and all its shrills.
    Minister of defence. ‘M’
    Defence media boffin. ‘D(u)MB’.
    Minister’s office.
    M. Sit down dmb.
    M. Right, notice has been brought to me that the DD (defence) has a problem answering a simple valid question concerning some mock up or something related to that mad terroist man whatever, in Sydney.
    DMB. Sir.
    M. We have notice of a received question by some Dee at Gsn to you lot. They are a bit of a pest.
    DMD, I answered the inquiry concerning their question relating to if and when, if we ever did, why, if we ever had a reason to run up a mock construction of the cafe.
    M. What did you say?
    DMD. Minister, we told them to ask the coroner carrying out the intensive open inquiry.
    M. Brilliant, terrorism and how it is dealt with is a state matter.
    Nothing to do with our government.
    DMB. Yes but what about the mock up query?
    M. So what, what is the problem? We did or did not run up a mock up and who cares when we did it. Surely man, what is the problem? We cannot be seen to be like those dam yanks who cannot simply produce the security videos around the Pentagon probably showing what hit the Pentagon. this is not the USA, this is Australia, we are fair dinkum and responsive to our electorate who pay our way. May I remind you DMD that they also pay for you lot and I have to justify your existence. Now piss off and answer the inquiry, we do not have time for more conspiracy nut cases using your idiot defence media lot to cause a reason for crazy conspiracy nonsense because you lot will not answer a simple question. Just reply with the facts, my electorate pays you lot and we are a democratic transparent administration. Get the picture sunshine?
    DMD. But minister, transparency?
    M. OK, now provide a report on what the dept of defence has on the service/females/males and in betweens on the marriage plebiscite. Load the media with BS and some fu…mock up questions can be ignored.
    DMD. Minister we are already on to that.
    M. Good lad, take a monte carlo from the tea room. I will report to cabinet the agenda.
    [Apols: monty python and yes minister]

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