How to Manage Protest Activity at your Office
The Department of Finance and the Attorney-General’s Department have prepared advice to assist you to manage protest activities at your office.
Since the announcement of the 2016 Federal Election there has been a rise in the number of demonstrations in and around parliamentarians’ offices. The Department of Finance and the Attorney-General’s Department (AGD) have prepared the following advice to assist you and your staff to manage protest activity safely.
- Please make sure everyone in your office is familiar with this advice and knows what to do if there is protest activity at your office.
- Consult with your staff to develop an action plan and contact lists suitable for your circumstances.
- Ensure everyone in the office is familiar with the emergency evacuation plan and the location of duress alarms.
- Consult with your local police and Ministerial and Parliamentary Services (M&PS) State Manager if you suspect protest activity at your office is being planned.
During a demonstration
If Police are not already aware of the activity, notify
- your local Police. If urgent police attendance is required call Triple Zero (000) and use your duress alarm
- the Australian Federal Police Protection Liaison Duty Officer
- your M&PS State Manager, who will liaise with the AGD and building management, if required
Ensure that you and your staff
- assess the situation. If you decide to prevent people from entering the office, you should lock the front door early and not open it until it is safe to do so
- remain within the secure part of the office and do not let unauthorised persons enter that area
- do not do anything that could agitate the demonstrators or make the situation worse
- advise expected visitors and any staff who are out of the office not to approach the office until it is safe to do so.
If protestors ask you or your staff to accept an item
- You should only consider accepting information such as petitions, letters addressed to you or your office, flyers or posters if you feel safe doing so.
- If the AFP or your local police are present, you should consult with the officers on the ground if you or any staff member feels uncomfortable receiving the information.
- It may be possible to arrange another way of receiving the information. For example, a police officer may agree to accept it on your behalf, or delivery could be arranged for another time.
If a member of the public behaves in an unacceptable manner
- If the AFP or your local police are present, consult with the officers on the ground.
- If police are not present when a member of the public behaves in an unacceptable manner; and you consider it necessary for the person to leave the premises, you should take the following steps.
- Try to communicate clearly and calmly with the person, from the secure area of the office if possible
- Initially seek the person’s cooperation, by asking them to cease the behaviour.
- Warn the person that he or she could be required to leave the premises immediately if the behaviour continues.
- If the behaviour continues, advise the person that due to the behaviour, you are withdrawing permission for him or her to be on the premises. Tell the person to leave. Warn the person that the police will be called if they remain on the premises.
- Monitor the person’s movements, and if it is safe to do so, accompany them, until they have left the premises. Do not attempt to physically remove any person from the premises.
- If the person refuses to leave, or if you or any staff member feels unsafe or threatened in any way, you should activate the duress alarm immediately, remove yourself to a safe location within the office, and if it is safe to do so, call Triple Zero (000). A call to Triple Zero (000) is useful so that attending police are aware of the situation that they are walking into, and to ensure that they are aware of the situation in case the duress alarm did not register.
After a demonstration
- If there is any damage to the office or surrounding areas, don’t disturb or clean up the site until the AFP or the local police have attended and released the site.
- Email photos of any damage to your M&PS State Manager.
- any building repairs or additional cleaning requirements to the JLL property helpdesk on 1300 652 114.
- any injuries, or incidents that could have caused an injury to Konekt on 1300 880 777 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- Following the event it is important to discuss what happened with all your staff and with your M&PS State Manager, to assist with the safe management of future incidents.
- Individual EAP counselling is available for all MOP(S) Act employees and their immediate family members by calling 1300 360 364. M&PS can arrange for a counsellor to attend your office to talk with staff as a group.
Should you require any further information, please contact your M&PS State or Territory Manager on the number below*.
Entitlements Management Branch
Ministerial and Parliamentary Services
8 June 2016
|State and Territory Managers||Contact Number||State and Territory Managers||Contact Number|
|ACT||Mr Stephen Frost||02 6277 6087||SA||Mr Ben Hooper||08 8205 1000|
|NSW||Ms Sharon Brigden||02 8289 9900||TAS||Mrs Becky Shrimpton||03 6231 0734|
|NT||Ms Lisa Culley (A/g)||08 8941 4133||VIC||Ms Toni Rikys||03 9660 6600|
|QLD||Mrs Katie Tchia||07 3001 8900||WA||Ms Rosemary O’Hare||08 9260 5000|