Military 'call-out' rules reformed
New reforms have been tabled that would make it easier to call in the military.
The shakeup of Defence “call-out” powers introduced into Federal Parliament this week will allow the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to be pre-authorised to respond to threats on land, at sea and in the air.
They also expand the military's powers to search, seize, and control movement at the scene of a terrorist incident.
The measures were recommended in a Defence counter-terrorism review last year, which was prompted by the Lindt cafe siege and other deadly international terrorist attacks.
The Defence Act changes will allow states and territories to request ADF support during a terrorist attack or other violent incidents like riots.
Police will still have the lead on terrorism incidents, and the Government has stressed that the military counter-terrorism Tactical Assault Groups may not be able to respond in time when attacks occur away from their bases in Sydney and Perth.
“The terror threat we face today is greater and more complex than that we faced when these laws were introduced almost 20 years ago,” Attorney-General Christian Porter said.
“The Government is committed to ensuring that law enforcement agencies around Australia can easily request ADF assistance to respond to these threats where necessary and are available to states and territories to assist with other major incidents, such as geographically dispersed or otherwise widespread, coordinated acts of violence or other domestic incidents that threaten the security and lives of Australians.”
Defence Minister Marise Payne said it is part of several new measures to enhance the ADF’s abilities.
“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,” Senator Payne said.
“This includes the establishment of an enhanced ADF counter-terrorism liaison network with state and territory police, a broadened program of specialist training and streamlined police access to Defence facilities, such as rifle ranges,” she added.