'No lockdown' for APEC

With just 50 days to go before one of the world’s largest political gatherings, Commonwealth spokesperson Anne Fulwood says ever measure is being taken to ensure adequate security without causing major disruptions to the CBD.

"With eight ministerial and senior official meetings and over a dozen APEC working group meetings already held successfully around the country, from the Hunter Valley to Darwin, we are confident that preparations for the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting … are tracking well", said Ms Fulwood.

No lockdown necessary

Ms Fulwood quashed any rumours that the city may go into a lock down, preventing anyone who isn’t a delegate or media representative from entering or leaving the city.

"Go about your usual business", said Ms Fulwood.

While the city won’t be in a lockdown, the Commonwealth spokesperson says there will be some disruptions around the CBD, including Circular Quay, a popular tourist destination.

Circular Quay, Museum and St James stations will also be closed from Friday September 7 to Sunday September 9.

Declared Areas

However police will be given special powers to question or search anyone moving through parts of the city labelled a 'declared area'.

They include areas of the CBD, Hickson Road, Darling Harbour and other parts of Circular Quay, following the introduction of the newly created APEC Meeting (Police Powers) Act 2007.

Ms Fulwood says while the ‘declared area’ will still be open to the public, there will be a highly visible police presence.

For more information visit the APEC website.

APEC an 'exciting time'

Despite the disruption, organisers say the summit should represent an exciting time for Sydney-siders.

"Sydney should be proud that prime ministers, presidents, and leaders of the 21 APEC member economies will meet in 50 days to discuss trade and investment across the Asia Pacific region," said Ms Fulwood.

While some people have opted to leave the city during the APEC long weekend, Ms Fulwood says making alternate travel plans to avoid the transport changes isn’t necessary.

Changes to the road network

From Sunday August 19, variable message signs on major roads will provide information about APEC arrangements. Furthermore motorists are encouraged to visit the RTA website for regular updates.

Ms Fulwood says despite the heavy security and increased traffic, the Harbour Bridge, Cahill Expressway, Harbour Tunnel, Western Distributor and the Eastern Distributor will remain open.

However motorists may expect delays between the city and airport between September 7 and 9.

Private vehicles will be allowed into the CBD during APEC, however general traffic is not encouraged in the northern end of the city.