What happens if there's a terrorist attack?

Where to get updates during a terrorist attack and how Victoria responds.

Victoria has procedures for managing a terrorist attack. These are similar to how we respond to natural disasters.

Initial response

Victoria Police leads the initial response, helped by other services such as:

  • emergency services
  • health services
  • local governments
  • local businesses and communities

Sometimes we may ask for support from other states or the Commonwealth Government.

In case of an incident, we focus on:

  • preventing injuries and reducing loss of life
  • preventing property damage and disruption to infrastructure (such as power and water)
  • investigating the threat or act
  • identifying and detaining offenders
  • providing immediate support to affected people

Find out more about how we respond to emergencies in Victoria here - All communities, all emergencies


After an incident, we begin planning for recovery immediately. It's important to help people resume their normal day-to-day activities.

Any terrorist attack in Victoria will cause strong reactions. These will be physical, mental, emotional or behavioural. Psychological impacts and recovery may continue for months, if not years.

Children and young people often react to trauma in ways that surprise their parents and teachers.

For more information about recovering from traumatic events - Trauma - reaction and recovery

How to find information during an incident

Follow these communication channels for warnings and information during a terrorist incident:

Vic Emergency website and app

@VictoriaPolice Twitter

Victoria Police Facebook

ABC radio and regional emergency broadcasters

Victoria Police news

Likelihood of a terrorist incident

Check the National Terrorism Threat Advisory System for information about the current likelihood of an act of terrorism in Australia.

Reviewed 02 January 2020

About VIC Government

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