Police to still take lead in terror events
Police to still take lead in terror events

Australia's police forces will remain the first responders in a terrorism situation, despite an overhaul of the defence act allowing army soldiers to join counter-terrorism operations.

Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan says the overhaul is about providing all options to authorities, not a commentary on the capabilities of state and territory police forces.

Mr Keenan says under the new act, Australian Defence Force resources will be available for counter-terrorism operation - as required and on demand - from state and territory authorities.

"Our domestic counter-terrorism response remains, primarily the responsibility of our police forces but there will be certain circumstances ... where the ADF might be useful," he said.

"When that is the case, I think Australians would understand we need arrangements that are going to allow that to happen."

Mr Keenan said Australia's counter-terrorism procedures had been world-leading but necessitated constant review.

Talk of establishing a so-called "super-ministry" based on the United Kingdom's Home Office was a matter for the Prime Minister, Mr Keenan said, but he was confident in Australia's counter-terrorism resources.

"The arrangements we have in place are tremendously effective, and the evidence for that is the fact we've stopped a dozen terrorist attacks from happening on our soil."

AAP

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