Australian Defence Force to have greater power in domestic counter-terrorism activities


The Australian Government is making new changes to expand the role of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) in domestic counter-terrorism activities.

This overhaul comes after the government initiated its review of the ADF’s support to national counter-terrorism organisations in 2016, following a series of terrorist attacks around the world.

The changes are expected to provide increased support to state and territory governments in their role as first responders to a domestic terrorist attack.

Australian states and territories will have officers within law enforcement agencies to assist with liaison and engagement, which will help the ADF to prepare for possible terrorist incidents.

"Specialised training will also be provided by Australia's Special Forces for selected law enforcement teams."

Specialised training will also be provided by Australia's Special Forces for selected law enforcement teams.

In addition, the government will strengthen Part IIIAAA of the Defence Act and remove some constraints in the provisions to encourage the ADF to assist states and territories.

The changes will include the removal of the provision that currently limits states and territories from seeking ADF support and specialist military skills until their capability or capacity has been exceeded.

Australia also plans to make it easier for ADF to help police prevent suspected terrorists from leaving the scene of an incident.