What happens if there's a terrorist attack?

Victoria has robust and well-practised emergency management arrangements

Victoria will manage a terrorist attack as it does a natural disaster. Victoria Police will lead the initial response. Emergency services, the health sector, government departments and agencies, local government, businesses and individuals will all be involved. If required, Victoria may ask other state or Commonwealth Governments for support.

The focus of the initial response will be to:

  • prevent or reduce the loss of life, injury, property damage, or infrastructure disruption
  • investigate the threat or act, identify and detain offenders
  • provide immediate support to affected people.

Victoria has well-practised relief and recovery arrangements for emergencies to support the wellbeing of individuals, families and the community, including the most vulnerable.

As in all emergencies, recovery is best begun as early as possible, ideally when the emergency occurs. In the case of terrorism, returning to day-to-day activities is particularly important. The psychological impacts and recovery may continue for months, if not years.

A terrorist attack in Victoria is likely to cause strong reactions. These will be physical, mental, emotional or behavioural. Children and young people can often react to trauma in ways that surprise their parents and teachers.

Established communications channels will be used

These communication channels provide community warnings and information during a terrorist incident in Victoria:

The National Terrorism Threat Advisory System also informs Australians about the likelihood of an act of terrorism in Australia. When the threat level changes information is provided to explain what the new threat level means, where the threat is coming from, and potential targets.

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