Australia to boost army powers in response to potential terror attacks

Defence officials will also provide specialised training to police forces as part of the new measures

Australia's military will be given greater power to act during terror attacks, the prime minister said Monday, following a review of security forces' responses to a spate of local and worldwide incidents.

The military will be given sweeping powers to deploy forces and even take charge during terrorist attacks.

Turnbull said that the reforms were triggered in large part as a result of the "changing nature of the (terror) threat as demonstrated in recent terrorist attacks around the world".

The government will also strengthen the act to make it easier for Defence personnel to support the police response, such as clarifying their power to "stop and seize" suspects to prevent them leaving the scene of an incident. "We have to stay ahead of them", he added.

Other changes will see army commandos train select state and territory police teams, while Defence will also offer to permanently embed officers within state law enforcement agencies to act as liaisons and advisers.

These measures are meant to provide increased Commonwealth support to states and territories in their role as first responders to a domestic terrorist incident.

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.

Turnbull and Payne stressed that responses to the terrorism threat must be constantly updated.

Australia's military will be more readily deployed to respond to domestic "terrorist incidents" under proposed changes to laws by the government.

The changes will include the removal of the provision that now limits states and territories from asking for ADF support and specialist military skills until their capability or capacity has been exceeded.

'We need to make sure that the "call-out" powers are appropriate for the current circumstances'.

The proposed changes need parliament's approval.

Mr Turnbull said State and Territory police forces would remain the primary responders to terrorist attacks, but the overhaul would allow the Federal Government to offer more support to local authorities, and mobilise faster in the event of a major incident.

Speaking about the changes on Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) radio on Monday, Justice Minister Michael Keenan said police would not be resigned "to the back seat" in terror operations, merely, the special forces would work alongside police to provide the best response to terror attacks.

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