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Counter Terrorism Action Plan

If elected in March 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will introduce a broad suite of measures to keep our community safe from the evolving threat of terrorism.

The Problem

The freedom to gather, to go to a sporting event, to a concert, to a festival is central to the way of life that we enjoy in South Australia.

This way of life must be protected. We must remain free to go about our daily lives without unnecessary interference.

Unfortunately, crowded places are increasingly a preferred terrorist target.

This is not a new phenomenon – attacks such as the 2002 Bali bombings and the 2005 London transport system attacks demonstrated the catastrophic impact of this tactic.

These attacks, along with more recent ones – including the attack on the Bastille Parade in Nice and the Berlin Christmas Markets in 2016 and attacks this year on Finsbury Park, London Bridge and Borough Market, Manchester Arena and the attack recently at Las Ramblas, Barcelona, all demonstrate that governments need to do more to protect their citizens from the threat of terrorism.

Although we live in a peaceful democracy here in South Australia there is the potential for terrorist incidents to undermine our way of life.

We must always be vigilant about the dangers that exist and ensure that our planning remains ahead of the threats against us.

Currently the National Terrorism Threat Level is PROBABLE. That means credible intelligence assessed by the nation’s security agencies indicates that individuals or groups continue to possess intent and capability to conduct a terrorist attack in Australia.

The National Security Hotline disseminates calls and information relating to counter terrorism concerns to states and territories.

In South Australia about 400 calls are referred to the SA Joint Counter Terrorism Taskforce for investigation each year.

The State Liberals' Plan

If elected in March 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will introduce a broad suite of measures to keep our community safe from the evolving threat of terrorism.

These include:

  • undertaking an audit of all major public places and events
  • additional training for police officers
  • providing greater certainty for police in the use of lethal force
  • additional training for security guards
  • preventing radicalisation in prisons
  • developing an anti-terrorism communications plan
  • increasing the use of Community Constables to enhance engagement with at risk communities.

1. We will undertake an audit of all major public places and events

A Marshall Liberal Government will undertake an audit of all major public places to maximise security and safety in places where large crowds gather.

The audit will be consistent with guidelines and requirements set out in the Federal Government’s Australia’s Strategy for Protecting Crowded Places from Terrorism which highlights the key role that state governments play in preventing, preparing for, responding to, and recovering from terrorist attacks in their jurisdiction.

It will be led by South Australia Police (SAPOL) in conjunction with local government and the operators of major events and will consider the latest counter terrorism innovations that improve the safety, protection and resilience of our public spaces when they are crowded for major events and, as necessary, will make recommendations as to how to improve security in these spaces.

Examples of public spaces that could be included in the audit include Henley Square, Jetty Road, Glenelg, the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, and Hindmarsh Soccer Stadium.


2. We will provide police officers with additional training

A Marshall Liberal Government will work with SAPOL, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to ensure that police first responders have the most up-to-date skills to deal with potential terrorist incidents.

This will include extra firearms training. Currently police need to complete a single annual test to maintain their firearms licence.

A Marshall Government will double the training to two tests per year to ensure that SAPOL officers are better prepared to deal with incidents as they occur and able to react appropriately in any given circumstances.


3. Providing greater certainty for police in the use of lethal force

Currently, SAPOL officers are governed in how they are allowed to use their firearms and lethal force by a series of general orders.

A Marshall Liberal Government will legislate to give police greater latitude to use lethal force in the context of an officially declared terrorist incident.

These provisions would be similar to the legislation introduced in NSW following the Lindt Café Siege and would empower police to respond to a terrorist incident in a manner most likely to minimise the risk to members of the public.


4. We will provide additional training for security guards

A Marshall Liberal Government will develop and deliver a training program to security industry personnel to ensure best practice techniques are used in the immediate aftermath of a terrorist incident.

At any mass gathering or major event in a public space, in addition to police, private security personnel are likely to be present.

These personnel are currently trained in standard crowd control and security techniques and are licensed by Consumer and Business Services.

Whilst not giving any more powers to security industry personnel we will ensure they are adequately trained to help deal with terrorist incidents.

This will allow them to assist the police and other law enforcement agencies.


5. We will prevent prisoners from becoming radicalised

A Marshall Liberal Government will establish procedures to keep extremist inmates from being able to radicalise and recruit other prisoners.

Prisons are often used as recruitment centres for various criminal organisations including Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs. As more extremists are charged and imprisoned, there is increasing likelihood that prisons will become recruitment centres for terrorist organisations.

Overseas, there has been evidence for some time in nations such as the United Kingdom and France that new Islamic extremists are being recruited in prisons. More recently, similar evidence has emerged in New South Wales.

Our new procedures will include:

  • isolating extremist prisoners from the rest of the prison population;
  • staff training on managing risk and fostering rehabilitation; and
  • preventing access to extremist materials.

Similar plans have successfully been implemented in New South Wales, France, Spain, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.


6. We will develop a comprehensive anti-terrorism communications plan

A Marshall Liberal Government will develop an anti-terrorism communications plan to address how to respond to terrorist incidents and how to proactively counter violent extremism.

The role of communications in countering violent extremism is vital.

Effective communications are needed to:

  • inform the public about counter-terrorism arrangements in place to keep people safe
  • discourage behaviour in the community that may lead to radicalisation and terrorist activity
  • manage the provision of public information to keep the public as safe as possible without compromising the response of police and other security agencies to a terrorist incident

A Marshall Government will address these priorities in an all-embracing anti-terrorism communications plan to be developed by South Australian Police in collaboration with other government agencies, the media, communications experts, the operators of major public venues, communities that may be vulnerable to radicalisation and other stakeholders.


7. We will increase the use Community Constables to enhance engagement with at risk communities

Our communications and anti-radicalisation efforts need to be centred on ensuring that all South Australians embrace our way of life and the rule of law.

In order to encourage this a Marshall Liberal Government will increase the use of Community Constables to help break down barriers, explain the role of police in keeping us safe and the need for us all to be on the lookout for any early signs of radicalisation.


Part of our plan for SA