By Paul Hemsley
Selected state police forces will receive armoured rescue vehicles from the United States through Australian government funding.
State police agencies in NSW, Queensland and Victoria will be provided three high-tech ‘BearCar’ Armoured Rescue Vehicles to help the agencies deal with dangerous situations such as hostage incidents or acts of terrorism.
Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon said international manufacturer Lenco Industries Incorporated built the vehicles at a cost of $400000 each.
“Each vehicle is specifically manufactured to protect police and is designed to be both bullet and blast resistant,” Ms Roxon said.
She said the vehicles can also be used to assist with the safe rescue of hostages or injured personnel.
The vehicles will be provided to the states as part of the National Counter-Terrorism Committee project.
Approval for the requirement of the rescue vehicles came from the committee, which is comprised of senior officials from Commonwealth, state and territory agencies.
Some states and territories already have armoured vehicles funded through their own state arrangements.
A spokeswoman for the Attorney-General’s department said the department conducted the procurement process and drew on advice from states and territories.
According to the department, a direct source procurement process was conducted in accordance with departmental requirements and guidelines.
To ensure an ‘effective’ and ‘efficient’ procurement process, the Commonwealth assessment used tender processes previously conducted by states and territories.
Under the National Counter-Terrorism arrangements, jurisdictions take responsibility for all ongoing operating and maintenance costs once the equipment has been provided, according to the department.
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