Brisbane is in full G20 security lockdown.

Thousands of police are patrolling the streets, many public transport routes have been suspended and summit venues and city hotels, are barricaded off.

Georgia Terry reports.


There was no ignoring the arrival of the United States.

This presidential helicopter flew over Brisbane yesterday in preparation for Barack Obama’s arrival, expected early on Saturday.

It was one of three helicopters spotted flying over the city, these military Osprey practised take-off and landing in a football field at Herston.

It was one more sign security operations ahead of this weekend’s G20 Summit are in full swing.

The Australian Defence Force has arrived from Canberra already soaring through Brisbane’s skies.

New Zealand and Interstate Police have been flown in as part of the increased security commitment.

Katarina Carroll, QPS Assistant Commissioner: “You are here to participate in one of the largest peacetime security operations Australia has ever seen.”

Hotels where dignitaries are staying are sectioned off, roads are closed and barricades have been installed.

Throughout South Brisbane the police presence is palpable, officers on the ground are patrolling the streets in a show of strength.

The largest numbers are at South Bank, where the international leader’s summit will take place.

Police have been given additional powers to use in case of emergency and have stricter controls within the G20 red zone.

Mark Lauchs, QUT School of Justice: “I think it’s tight enough, I think people can’t access where they ought not to be so I don’t think there needs to be anything more, there are probably layers of security we don’t know about.”

Protests are likely to increase in the lead up to the G20 with the largest crowds expected on Saturday.

The Magistrates Court will operate around the clock to deal with the potential increase in arrests.

But not all protesters are planning on being aggressive.

Some groups, like Walking Borders, are taking a more peaceful approach.

Scotia Monkivitch, Walking Borders: “I think there needs to be alternative ways of how we activate conversation and I think this medium is a successful way of engaging people perhaps more one on one.”

So far, relations between protesters and police have remained civil.

Mark Lauchs, QUT School of Justice: “We’ve seen half a dozen protests now and there haven’t been any incidents at all, no one’s had to take advantage of the additional powers, it’s there in case something happens.”