Military to gain new terror powers

AAP Image  Brendan Esposito                       Special Operations Command soldiers are seen posing at Holsworthy Barracks in Sydney

AAP Image Brendan Esposito Special Operations Command soldiers are seen posing at Holsworthy Barracks in Sydney

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) will soon be given special powers to play a larger role in responding to domestic terror events, China's Xinhua news agency reported Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, as saying.

Turnbull also said the government will need to mobilize all available resources to stand up against terrorists.

Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull will on Monday announce the changes, which follow a review into the 2014 fatal Lindt Cafe siege.

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".

A coronial inquiry found in May that police failed to respond quickly enough to end the 16-hour siege, which has been described as Australia's deadliest incident inspired by Daesh terrorists.

Turnbull said the changes to domestic counterterrorism arrangements were made "to stay ahead of the evolving threat of terrorism" and to "ensure Australia has a coordinated and integrated response".

Asked whether the government had used the ADF as props at the announcement given the striking imagery of the commandos, Mr Marles said he had not seen the images of the press conference but added that "there is a fine line between acknowledging and indeed celebrating the incredible work that our defence force personnel do on the one hand and politicising them on the other".

A cloudy, hot and humid Sunday with a 60% rain chance
Tomorrow, the day will start off mostly sunny but then clouds will increase during the day. As of Saturday morning, the chance of weekend thunderstorms has been eliminated.


The process involved in a military "call out" to an incident, including a provision that limits the states from asking for military assistance until their capability has been exceeded, will be streamlined.

"There would only be limited circumstances in which the niche military capabilities that we have would be required", he said.

But he said if there was a protracted incident like the Lindt Cafe siege, the new rules would mean soldiers could be called in.

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

The government will also make changes to the act to make it easier for the ADF to support the police response, such as the ability to prevent suspected terrorists from leaving the scene of an incident.

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

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