The Morrison Government has welcomed the passage in the Parliament of legislation to continue critical powers to respond to the evolving threat posed by terrorism.

The Government’s highest priority is to keep Australians safe. Our law enforcement and security agencies are among the best in the world and we have to ensure they have the powers they need.

The Counter‑Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Sunsetting Review and Other Measures) Bill 2021, passed yesterday evening, provides for the continuation of key counter-terrorism powers, including control orders and preventative detention orders, noting these provisions are still under review by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. The Bill also extends declared areas offences for a further three years, as recommended by the Committee.

These powers are critical to managing terrorism threats and remain a necessary component of Australia’s counter-terrorism framework in the current threat environment and looking to the future.

In particular, control orders are a vital tool for managing the terrorist risk posed by persons of concern. These orders allow a Federal Court to impose conditions on a person in the community. Since September 2014, when the national terrorism threat level was raised to ‘probable’, 21 control orders have been issued, the majority of which have been sought for terrorist offenders on their release from prison.

The Bill will also extend the reporting date for the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor’s review of continuing detention order provisions, noting that consultation for that review has been affected by COVID travel restrictions.

The first continuing detention order was made in December 2020, in relation to Mr Abdul Nacer Benbrika.

Since September 2014the Government has taken 22 tranches of legislation through Parliament, with the single purpose of keeping Australians safe.