Published: Mon, July 17, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Turnbull toughens stand on terror, to give ADF greater powers

Turnbull toughens stand on terror, to give ADF greater powers

While people took to Twitter to mock the PM's delivery, the proposed laws potentially deliver sweeping new military powers that should be taken pretty seriously.

Australia's military will be more readily deployed to respond to domestic "terrorist incidents" under proposed changes to laws by the government.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has toughened stand on terrorism and announced giving greater power to the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to respond to domestic terrorist incidents.

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

NEW powers to prevent suspected terrorists from leaving the scene of an incident. Elite special forces would have full legal authority to shoot and kill terrorists.

The main change in the Defence Act will remove a clause that says the military can only be deployed if the relevant state "is not, or is unlikely to be, able to protect itself against the domestic violence".

The measures came months after the prime minister ordered a review of terror response, after it was concluded that police were ill-equipped and too slow in responding to the Lindt cafe siege in Sydney in 2014.

'But Defence can offer more support to states and territories to enhance their capabilities and increase their understanding of Defence's unique capabilities to ensure a comprehensive response to potential terrorist attacks'.

"We can not afford to take a "set and forget" mentality on national security", Mr Turnbull said.

Under the new measures, the military would also provide specialised training to police forces.

But the coroner did note the "challenge global terrorism poses for state police forces calls into question the adequacy of existing arrangements".

Previously, the military were "called out" for assistance by a state only if local police capabilities were exceeded during an incident. That provision will be abolished under the Turnbull government's changes, meaning states could request federal help even if they retained control of the situation.

"They can sniff it from a mile away and they will judge people accordingly and it is for all of us in this space to use our judgement appropriately to make sure that we are doing this in a way which is respectful to the ADF because I can assure you, the Australian people will absolutely judge our actions as indeed they should".

Defence will offer to place officers within state law enforcement agencies to help with liaison and engagement.

State and Territory Police Forces remain the best first response to terrorist incidents, immediately after an attack starts.

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