Boost for military's powers in 'terrorist incidents'

17 July, 2017, 20:50 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Bullets

The military will be given sweeping powers to deploy forces and even take charge during terrorist attacks.

"We have to ensure that every resource we have, legislative, military, police, intelligence, security is always at the highest standard and able to be brought to bear to keep Australians safe", Turnbull said.

NEW powers to prevent suspected terrorists from leaving the scene of an incident. "We have to stay ahead of them", he said.

It could also include embedding military officers in local police to improve the information flow between State and Federal authorities.

These measures are meant to provide increased Commonwealth support to states and territories in their role as first responders to a domestic terrorist incident.

The controversial response of police forces to the Lindt Cafe hostage crisis in 2014 has also been looked at as a demonstration of an existing need to provide reinforcements for police forces.

Turnbull and Payne stressed that responses to the terrorism threat must be constantly updated.

The government said in a statement that state and territory police forces remained the best first response, but the military could offer additional support to enhance their capabilities.


SOLDIERS may be placed within police forces to help with Australian Defence Force liaison.

Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne refused to be drawn on what might have happened if the changes were in place before Sydney's Lindt cafe siege which resulted in the deaths of two hostages.

Under current laws, domestic police can only call on the defence force if it is believed that police capability or capacity to respond has been exceeded.

Under extraordinary circumstances, the Commonwealth would not need to wait for an invitation and could make the decision to deploy the ADF.

"What I am doing is taking a lot of the red tape and the gum out of the works to enable the cooperation between the police and the ADF (Australian Defense Forces) and particularly the specialists.so they can work together more seamlessly", Turnbull said on Monday.

Exactly what defence forces will be empowered to do under the new laws is unclear, though at one point Turnbull gestured to the heavily armed forces behind him as an example of what the ADF can offer, potentially flagging a substantial expansion of domestic military presence and powers.

'In 2005 we never imagined Australia would be under the current terrorism threat that it is, ' he told ABC radio.

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