SA to toughen bail and parole laws

Tim Dornin

South Australia is a safe place but won't take anything for granted when it comes to terrorism, Premier Jay Weatherill says.

The state government has announced plans to toughen bail and parole laws to keep people with links to terrorism behind bars.

It will bring the new measures to parliament as soon as possible with the state opposition pledging to pass the measures without delay.

Mr Weatherill said the government could not afford to be complacent in combating terrorism.

"It only takes one incident to cause horrible damage, horrible loss and it would be a frightening thing for that to happen to our state," he said on Tuesday.

Under changes to the Bail Act, police bail will be automatically denied for anyone who has demonstrated support for, or has links to, terrorist activity.

Once before court there will also be a presumption against bail.

The parole board will similarly operate under a presumption against parole for anyone who has demonstrated support for, or links to, terrorism.

The new measures flow from last week's meeting of the Council of Australian Governments and follow the arrest in May of a 22-year-old Adelaide woman who police alleged had cultivated a relationship with terror group Islamic State.

The woman did not apply for bail at her first court appearance but her lawyer indicated she would seek to be released ahead of any trial.

Mr Weatherill would not comment on whether the new bail laws would, or should, be applied in the woman's case.

Deputy Opposition Leader Vickie Chapman welcomed the government's changes that provided for the presumption against bail for terror-related offences.

"Clearly it is necessary to make these changes," she said.

"It is important we look at every measure where there is an opportunity to protect South Australians."

Acting Police Commissioner Linda Williams said while the national threat level related to a terror attack was probable, the risk in SA was lower compared to other states.

"That's not to say we're complacent, but we have to put balance into the discussion here in terms of how we're policing and what the risk is," she said.

The lower risk notwithstanding, police recently increased security for events at Adelaide Oval following the terror bombing at a pop concert in Manchester.