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Australian Defense Force Authorized to Help Police During Terror Attacks
17 July 2017, 01:01 | Darnell Patrick
CC0 Pixabay Australian Counter Terror Police Charge Two Sydney Teens With Gun Offenses
Malcolm Turnbull wants to make it easier for Australia's military to help police deal with terrorist attacks, including streamlining the process for the defence forces to be called out to incidents.
The measures came months after the prime minister ordered a review of terror response, after it was concluded that police were ill-equipped and too slow in responding to the Lindt cafe siege in Sydney in 2014.
The Government will strengthen Part IIIAAA of the Defence Act to remove some constraints in the provisions to "call out" the ADF to assist states and territories.
Mr Turnbull made the announcement at Holsworthy Barracks in Sydney, where he inspected the guns and military equipment carried by commandos who were heavily armed and covered by balaclavas and sunglasses.
Flanked by the Chief of the Defence Force Mark Binksin and standing in front of an inflatable boat with six heavily armed and masked special forces soldiers, Mr Turnbull said that now states needed to "demonstrate that they have exhausted their ability to defend themselves".
Under the changes territory police forces would remain the first responders to possible terror attacks on Australian soil, but they would be authorized to ask for the army's help during such incidents before exhausting all their capacity.
That will include an offer of training from ADF special forces units such as the SAS, which is based in Swanbourne.
"There would only be limited circumstances in which the niche military capabilities that we have would be required".
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.
"It would be quite wrong of me to start trying to re-open the issues around the the Lindt cafe", he said. It's also led to criticism about the appropriateness of using members of the defence forces as human props.
NEW powers to prevent suspected terrorists from leaving the scene of an incident.
Australia's defence laws will be overhauled the smooth the way for soldiers to be deployed to assist local police dealing with terrorist threats.
"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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