Parliament passes counter-terrorism legislation

2 December 2014

The Parliament today passed the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1). The legislation addresses urgent operational needs identified by Australia's intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

The measures in the Bill will assist these agencies to disrupt domestic terrorist threats and support the international coalition to degrade ISIL in the Middle East. They are part of the Government's comprehensive legislative reform agenda to address the threat posed by Australians participating in, and supporting, foreign conflicts or undertaking training with extremist groups.

The Bill will enhance the control order regime in the Criminal Code Act 1995 to allow the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to seek control orders in relation to a broader range of individuals of security concern. This will allow the AFP to take timely action against those suspected of funding, enabling or supporting persons who are suspected of terrorist activity and fighting with terrorist organisations in foreign conflicts.

The Bill also amends the Intelligence Services Act 2001 which will improve the ability of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) to provide timely support to the Australian Defence Force in assistance of military operations.

The Bill incorporated amendments proposed by the bipartisan Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS), which unanimously recommended passage of the Bill. The PJCIS acknowledged the improvements provided in the Bill were urgently needed to ensure that Australia's intelligence and law enforcement agencies could undertake relevant activities to protect Australian security at home and in support of the Australian Defence Force's operations in Iraq against ISIL.

The Government thanks the PJCIS for its thorough analysis and constructive approach in its review of the Bill.

The Government also thanks the Opposition for its ongoing bipartisan support for these important reforms.