Australian authorities have been setting up concrete barriers across the country at popular landmarks to prevent vehicle-born terrorist attacks over the past few months. The latest landmark to implement the new security measures is Melbourne's Southern Cross railway station, which installed the new barriers on Thursday, June 29. Additional locations include Sydney's Martin Place and Lindt Café and Melbourne's Federation Square, among others. Other types of barriers are also being placed at iconic sites around the country, including metal fencing that prevents access to the lawns around Parliament House in Canberra.
Some local residents and commentators have criticized the ugliness and questioned the effectiveness of the barriers, while others accepted the new security measures and deem them necessary.
On January 20, six people were killed and 30 others injured after a vehicle struck pedestrians in Melbourne's Bourke Street.
Australian security forces have become increasingly worried about homegrown extremism, with the terrorist threat level being raised to "probable" in September 2014, the third lowest on a scale of 5. Australian officials say they have now prevented more than ten terrorist attacks over the past two years.
Individuals in Australia are advised to exercise vigilance and report any suspicious objects or behavior to the local authorities, particularly when in crowded places. Be prepared for heightened security measures: cooperate with authorities, always carry appropriate identification, and anticipate possible travel delays.