Barron River MP Michael Trout welcomes the arrival of the new police armoured police in Cairns.
A paranoid and fear-obsessed Federal Government has just purchased an armoured police vehicle for Cairns and Far North Queensland.
Equipped for riot police, tear gas and other anti-social paraphernalia, it has local leaders excited that we could host important events here.
The vehicle is a Lenco BearCat, a wheeled armored personnel carrier used by military and police forces, mainly in the USA. The 15-ton vehicle cost around $400,000. "BearCat" gets its name from Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck.
It's a Ford F-550 6lt turbo-diesel, 4-speed auto, with 1.5" thick steel armored bodywork with ballistic glass capable of multi-hits, blast-resistant floors, specially designed gunports, roof hatches and turret. There are modifications such as thermal cameras and spot lights.
This is only the second of its kind in Queensland.
"The state of the art vehicle is designed specifically for high-risk police situations.," Barron River MP Michael Trout said. "The BearCat is bullet and blast resistant and can also help safely rescue hostages or injured personnel in challenging situations."
Former policeman and Katter Party candidate for Cairns, Darren Hunt, says the new vehicle is awesome.
"The capabilities it has are amazing. We have the only SERT (Special Emergency Response Team) outside Brisbane and the amount of VIP's we have holidaying up here is huge," Darren Hunt says. "It makes sense to base it here."
However he quipped that it will get as much use as an ashtray on a motorcycle.
I suspect there will not be much change out of a million dollars for this beast, which belongs on the streets of Washington DC, not the Nard in Cairns.