US 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:
- What date, i.e.; when was this mock-up of the Lindt Café built at the Holsworthy Army Base?
- 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?
- 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?
- . What date was this mock-up of the Lindt Café built?
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