Perth eyes Commonwealth Games security

Sophie Moore

Facial recognition technology could be rolled out on Perth's public transport network, a counter-terrorism parliamentary inquiry has heard.

The Perth Transport Authority (PTA) will consider adopting the security software after reviewing the success of a live trial on the Gold Coast's public transport network during the Commonwealth Games.

"We're lucky enough to have one of our senior executives on secondment over there helping at the Commonwealth Games and we'll take notes and consider them when they come back," PTA Chief Executive Officer Richard Sellers told reporters on Wednesday.

Mr Sellers was joined by fellow PTA executives as they fronted the Community Development and Justice Joint Standing Committee inquiry into current protections against terrorist attacks in WA's busiest areas.

PTA's security services chief Steve Furmedge boasted that the Perth transport network had become the model for national codes of practice governing the use of CCTV.

It operates two security control centres, the smaller located at the Optus Stadium Station, which monitor cameras 24 hours a day and allow security to direct Transit Officers.

The PTA's CCTV system benefits from a fast, optic fibre network, which was expensive to install but has made Perth's system the best in the nation, Mr Furmedge said.

He said other state networks would love to have it too but their size made it too expensive.

The high-tech investment would allow the PTA to adopt new technology quickly, such as facial recognition software.

The PTA has been working with Curtin University on facial recognition and human behaviour monitoring technology.

But Mr Furmedge warned the software was not as advanced as people believed, or as cost-effective.

Mr Sellers said the PTA would wait until after it had reviewed the success of the Commonwealth Games' security before submitting a business case to the state government.