Australia’s Government has introduced a defence call-out bill to enable states and territories to easily get support from the ADF for counter-terrorism and handing other violent incidents.
Dubbed ‘Call Out of the Australian Defence Force’, the Defence Amendment Bill 2018 was created in close consultation with state and territory governments in order to strengthen the country’s ability to combat terrorism.
As an amendment to the Part IIIAAA of the Defence Act 1903, the new bill will make it easier for states and territories to request ADF support wherever necessary.
It will allow the ADF to be pre-authorised to respond to threats on land, at sea and in the air. The bill will also expand and simplify the force’s powers to search, seize and control movement at the event of a terrorist attack, in addition to enhancing ADF’s ability to respond to incidents occurring in more than one jurisdiction.
Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne said that the amendments are part of a range of measures being taken by the country to improve and increase the defence department’s support to national counter-terrorism arrangements.
Payne said: “Defence has already strengthened the practical support it provides to state and territory police since the outcomes of the review were announced in July last year.
“This includes the establishment of an enhanced ADF counter-terrorism liaison network with state and territory police, a broadened programme of specialist training and streamlined police access to defence facilities, such as rifle ranges.”
In addition, the Australian defence department has expanded the capacity and capability of supporting the ADF teams on call to assist police to respond to domestic security incidents and threats when requested by the states and territories.