Australian army to take lead on terror attacks

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 17, 2017

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. It is hoped this will assist with pre-positioning of the ADF in response to a possible terrorist incident.

Fairfax Media via Getty Images Police secure the area near Lindt Cafe in Martin Place.

Shadow Minister for Defence Richard Marles said he supported the changes, but said Mr Turnbull politicised the military by posing with heavy weaponry and commandos for a televised press conference.

The Coroner's work is being addressed as part of a suite of measures which are also being announced by Defence Minister Marise Payne at Sydney's Holsworthy Barracks later Monday morning.

Previously, the military were "called out" for assistance by a state only if local police capabilities were exceeded during an incident.

"In 2005, we never would have imagined Australia would be under the current terrorism threat that it is, so we need to make sure that the "call out" powers are appropriate for the current circumstances".

Turnbull said police will remain "the best first response" to terrorist incidents, but the raft of changes will make it easier for the military to help the police deal with such attacks.

Turnbull said the law must be changed that requires state and territory governments to exhaust their capacity to respond to domestic terror events before they can ask for military help, reports The Guardian.

Defence will offer states and territories placement of officers within law enforcement agencies to assist with liaison and engagement.

"Because there will be circumstances where, through our intelligence, we get wind of an attack being likely or being planned and so you can get people in position in advance", he said.

"It would be quite wrong of me to start trying to re-open the issues around the the Lindt cafe", he said.

The military will be given sweeping powers to deploy forces and even take charge during terrorist attacks under changes to Australia's national security laws.

The military will also be allowed on the streets to support the wider police response, including blocking potential suspects from leaving the scene.

In practice, this means that it will be easier to deploy the Defence Forces in response to domestic terror incidents.

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