Boost for military's powers in 'terrorist incidents'

Boost for military's powers in 'terrorist incidents'
From Al Jazeera - July 17, 2017

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

According to new measures announced on Monday by Malcolm Turnbull, Australia's prime minister, state and territory governments would be able to call for military help any time a "terror incident" is declared.

Previously, the military could only be called upon if police concluded they could no longer deal with an incident.

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That provision has now been removed, Monday's statement said.

Turnbull said the changes to domestic counterterrorism arrangements were made "to stay ahead of the evolving threat of terrorism" and to "ensure Australia has a coordinated and integrated response".

State and territory police forces would remain as the first response, but the military would offer support to enhance their capabilities, Turnbull said.

"Our enemies are agile and innovative. We have to stay ahead of them," he said in Sydney.

As part of the measures, the military's special forces will train state police teams and soldiers will be placed within law enforcement agencies to improve engagement between authorities.

The new powers will also allow troops to help police stop suspected attackers from fleeing the scene.

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