WA terror inquiry focuses on public spaces

A counterterrorism inquiry in Perth is reviewing how best to guard crowded public spaces in Western Australia against potential attacks.

The Community Development and Justice Joint Standing Committee says it will launch an inquiry on Wednesday into current protections of busy areas in WA.

It comes after attacks such as the Manchester Arena suicide-bombing last year, in which young people in the UK were targeted as they left an Ariana Grande concert.

Committee chairman Peter Katsambanis says WA is not immune from terrorism.

"Attacks on both Australian and international soil have highlighted the need for the state's counter-terrorism agencies to tighten their prevention and response to terrorism," he said.

Mr Katsambanis said the committee was particularly interested in the role of parliament, which struggled to assess spending by agencies tasked with classified counterterrorism activities.

"We want to know how we can ensure West Australian's money is being used effectively," he said.

The committee will consider the parliament's role in overseeing counterterrorism arrangements, including the state-based emergency management framework, and the relationship between state government departments and private venue operators.

It will also gauge the capability of WA Police to respond to an attack and potential changes to security licensing.

The committee will hand down its outcome to parliament in November.

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