SA govt to toughen terrorism laws

Benjamin Weir
SA Attorney-General Vickie Chapman says the government will be strengthening terror laws

South Australian police will have greater powers to use lethal force when dealing with terrorist attacks, under proposed legislation.

The bill would give the police commissioner the power to declare an incident a terrorist attack, allowing officers to use lethal force with the knowledge they will be immune from any threat of future criminal liability.

"This will provide certainty to the police and protection to the public," Attorney-General Vickie Chapman said on Tuesday.

Officers will be protected from prosecution unless their actions were in contravention of an order or they did not act in good faith.

The identity of police officers will also be protected to ensure no repercussions.

"The provision protecting the identity of police officers will have application in the courts and the media to reduce the likelihood of retaliation from terrorist organisations," Ms Chapman said.

The proposed legislation to be introduced to parliament next week is modelled on laws introduced in NSW after the Lindt Cafe siege.

"Sadly these occasions don't end well, frequently for the terrorist, and our job is to make sure we minimise the risk to any members of the public," Ms Chapman said.