Rudd building White House style 'situation room' for crisis management

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Sydney, Oct 1(ANI): Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is building a 14 million dollar White House-style "situation room" next to the cabinet room, which will act as a high-tech crisis centre and will have a secure videoconferencing facility to allow direct communication across the nation and with foreign leaders.

The room will be used by Rudd for fighting terrorist and national security threats, and also to respond to natural disasters and other crises, which could include events such as the global financial crisis, The Age.

The "situation room" is expected to be operational by the middle of next year and it will be just metres from the Prime Minister's office.

Currently, the cabinet room is used to carry out emergency meetings, but a report has found that it lacked technological support.

Earlier, Former Prime Minister John Howard had considered building such a room, and the Rudd Government emphasised on the plan following a security review by senior public servant Ric Smith last year.

The White House Situation Room is a 5,000-square-foot conference room and intelligence management centre in the basement of the West Wing of the White House, which is run by the National Security Council staff for the use of the United States President and his advisers.

It was established by former President John Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs crisis in 1961 and is equipped with secure, advanced communications equipment for the President to maintain command and control of U.S. forces around the world. (ANI)

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