Protecting Victoria From Terror

The Andrews Labor Government is ensuring Victoria Police and other law enforcement agencies have all the powers they need to protect the community from terrorism and violent extremism.

Premier Daniel Andrews today announced that a new expert panel will carry out a root-and-branch review of the laws currently available to prevent, investigate, monitor and respond to acts of terror.

The Expert Panel will be led by former Chief Commissioner of Police, Ken Lay, and former Supreme Court of Appeal Justice, the Hon David Harper.

It will look at all options available at all stages of the system – including pre-charge, pre-sentence, during sentence and post-sentence measures. It will also provide advice on removing any barriers to Victoria Police in responding to terrorist acts.

Recent terrorist incidents in Manchester and London, the Brighton siege in Melbourne, and the Lindt Café siege in Sydney show that the threat from terror is real – and we must act to make sure we have the best powers, procedures and laws in place to keep Victorians safe.

The Panel will report to Government within weeks on practical reform options to the powers, guidance and protections available to Victoria Police, with a more detailed report on wider reforms across the entire justice system to follow in coming months.

All relevant agencies will have a say – from Victoria Police, the Director of Public Prosecutions, through to Federal security agencies – to make sure there is no stone left unturned and every option is considered.

The work of the Panel will build on the considerable reforms that have already progressed at both a state and Commonwealth level to fight terror and keep Victorians safe.

These measures include presumptions against bail for those who publicly support terrorism or are charged with terror-related offences, and working to establish a post-sentence preventative detention scheme.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“We make no apologies for doing whatever it takes to keep Victorians safe from terror.”

“This may not be popular, but we will act to make sure our police and the courts have the powers they need to prevent and respond to terrorism and violent extremism in our community.”

Quote attributable to Attorney-General Martin Pakula

“This review will look at our entire law enforcement framework, to ensure we have the strongest laws, powers and procedures in place to protect Victorians.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Police Lisa Neville

“We need to ensure that police have the powers needed to respond to the changing challenges posed by terrorism. This will be a critical part of reducing risk for the Victorian community.”