The national security-focused summit comes in the wake of Brighton siege terrorist Yacqub Khayre being released on bail, and the thwarted terrorist attack on an Etihad Airways flight in June.

By Joe McDonough


Posted on October 4, 2017

Suspected terrorists will be detained for twice as long, authorities will have less restrictions in interrogations, and ­hoaxes and the spread of “instructions and propaganda” will become chargeable offences.

These are the new laws Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will be pushing at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting in Canberra on Thursday. The national security-focused summit comes in the wake of the thwarted terrorist attack on an Etihad Airways flight in June traveling from Sydney to the UAE.

It’s not just the federal government angling for tougher laws, state premiers are also cracking down. Heavily influenced by the Lindt Cafe Siege in Sydney in 2014, WA Premier Mark McGowan has introduced changes to the Terrorism Act which will enable police to shoot-to-kill as a pre-emptive measure, once Police Commissioner Chris Dawson or his deputies declare a situation to be a “terrorist incident”.

“We can’t allow a situation to develop where there is a terrorist incident and police don’t know whether or not they can take lethal action against the perpetrator,” he told reporters ahead of Thursday’s meeting. “I want West Australians to be absolutely assured that if there is a terror incident with hostages or victims involved, that police can shoot to kill the terrorist or perpetrator involved.”

I want West Australians to be absolutely assured that if there is a terror incident with hostages or victims involved, that police can shoot to kill the terrorist or perpetrator involved.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has also announced amended laws to allow interim detention and police questioning without a prior court order, as well as scrapping the ‘presumption against parole’ law that saw Brighton siege terrorist Yacqub Khayre released on bail.

The maximum period of detainment is set to be increased from the current standard of seven days to a fortnight, in line with NSW, for nation-wide consistency. Other discussion points will include introducing a national facial biometric matching capability, and enhancing the existing national pre-charge detention regime.

Turnbull’s COAG meeting was originally revealed by Fairfax Media, after obtaining a leaked copy of the COAG agenda.