What Government is doing to protect the Victorian community

Victoria has robust and well-practised emergency management arrangements.

The best defence against terrorism is a strong and connected community

The government can't achieve this on its own. We work together with a range of organisations and groups to build a more cohesive, resilient society including:

  • community organisations
  • police
  • government agencies
  • businesses
  • academics.

As outlined in Victoria’s Counter Terrorism Statement 2017 the number one priority of the Victorian Government is the safety and security of the people of Victoria.

Counter Terrorism Statement 2017
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To check the likelihood of an act of terrorism in Australia, visit the Australian National Security website

Effective law enforcement and counter-terrorism legislation

Victoria’s law enforcement and intelligence arrangements work to prevent and disrupt planned terrorist activity. To do this, Victoria Police works with its counterparts in the Commonwealth and other states and territories. Past joint investigations have disrupted terrorist plots and produced successful criminal prosecutions.

Further detail on Victoria Police's counter-terrorism activities and priorities are in the Victoria Police Counter Terrorism Strategy 2018-2021.

Victoria’s laws align with human rights principles and the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities.

Partnering with business to increase resilience

Large and small businesses in Victoria also work to reduce the threat of terrorism and its consequences. They apply government regulations and guidelines to protect their employees, customers, and the community.

Victoria Police, ASIO and security specialists also provide guidance to business to reduce the risk of attacks at crowded places. These include sporting venues, shopping complexes, public transport hubs, and major events.

Protecting Victoria’s critical infrastructure (for example, water and electricity), is also vital to our well-being. The Victorian Government works with infrastructure operators to raise awareness of how their operations might be vulnerable and to promote information sharing. The infrastructure sectors include banking and finance, communications, energy, food supply, government, health, transport and water.

Updates to Victoria’s counter-terrorism legislation

Victoria’s independent Expert Panel on Terrorism and Violent Extremism Prevention and Response Powers made 42 recommendations.

The Victorian Government reformed counter-terrorism legislation through the Justice Legislation Amendment (Terrorism) Act 2018.

Most provisions in the Act came into effect on 1 October 2018. The reforms:

  • allow for preventative detention of terror suspects by police for up to 4 days for an adult and 36 hours for a child
  • create a presumption against bail and parole for those who pose a terrorism risk
  • clarify police powers to use lethal force in response to a life-threatening act where it may be the last opportunity to safely and effectively intervene
  • streamline the authorisation of special police powers and enable police to use these powers to take control of premises
  • improved information sharing in the adult and youth justice systems for counter-terrorism purposes

The reforms provide many safeguards, including:

  • oversight of the use of special police powers and preventative police detention by the independent Victorian Inspectorate
  • additional protections for children who are preventatively detained

Expert Panel on Terrorism Reports

In June 2017, the Victorian Government established the independent Expert Panel on Terrorism and Violent Extremism Prevention and Response Powers (‘Expert Panel’), led by former Victorian Chief Commissioner of Police, Ken Lay AO and former Victorian Court of Appeal Justice, the Hon David Harper AM.

The Expert Panel was tasked with examining and evaluating the operation and effectiveness of Victoria’s key legislation and related powers and procedures of relevant agencies to prevent, monitor, investigate and respond to terrorism.