Counter Terrorism

The counter-terrorism environment worldwide has changed sharply in recent years. A significant catalyst for a review of Australia’s counter-terrorism arrangements was the 11 September 2001 terrorist attack on the United States of America.

In Australia, this subsequently led to the introduction of new national counter-terrorism structures and arrangements.

Western Australia is a partner in the national approach to counter-terrorism and provides membership to the Australia-New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee.

Counter-terrorism work in Western Australia not only complements national policies and plans but is also done in an environment that values strong cooperative, coordinated and consultative relationships with the Australian, State and Territory governments, departments, the community and industry, with the overriding aim of making our region safer.

Counter-terrorism strategies are underpinned by the all hazards approach to emergency management and recognise that the further strengthening of existing partnerships, capabilities, processes and structures improves the security preparedness of the State.

The term terrorist act has the meaning given to that term in section 100.1 in the Schedule to the Criminal Code Act 1995 of the Commonwealth. Terrorism offences are contained in Division 101 of the Criminal Code Act 1995.

The Emergency Management Act 2005, available on the WA Legislation website, and its regulations and policies allocate responsibility for managing various emergencies to specific organisations known as Hazard Management Agencies (HMA).

The Western Australia Police Force is the designated HMA for terrorist acts within the State of Western Australia.

To report any suspicious activity or security concerns contact the WA Police Force on 131 444, the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400 or email the National Security Hotline.

Crowded Places

Crowded places are locations which are easily accessible by large numbers of people on a predictable basis. Crowded places include, but are not limited to, sports stadiums, transport infrastructure, shopping centres, pubs, clubs, hotels, places of worship, tourist attractions, movie theatres, and civic spaces. Crowded places do not have to be buildings and can include open spaces such as parks and pedestrian malls. A crowded place will not necessarily be crowded at all times: crowd densities may vary between day and night, by season, and maybe temporary as in the case of sporting events, festivals, or one-off events.

Crowded places such as stadiums, shopping centres, pedestrian malls and major events will continue to be attractive targets for terrorists. Australia is not immune. Terrorists have plotted similar attacks here, including on crowded places, and we expect more will occur. WA Police Force participates in Australia’s Strategy for Protecting Crowded Places from Terrorism.

The WA Police Force Protective Security Unit (PSU) facilitates Crowded Places Forums on a quarterly basis in metropolitan and bi-annually in regional WA locations which cover four core elements of the strategy.

  • Building stronger partnerships
  • Enabling better information sharing
  • Implementing effective protective security
  • Increasing resilience.

The forums are invitation only and specifically for owners and operators of crowded places who are involved as security managers/operators, emergency management, event coordinators/organisers, planning managers, risk assessment managers and similar. The forums are the primary means of collective engagement between police and local owners and operators of crowded places, including businesses and local councils. Members of the Crowded Places Forum can share information, guidance, and lessons learned relevant to their local circumstances. The forums also provide an opportunity for Commonwealth agencies, particularly ASIO and the AFP, to brief owners and operators in each state and territory as a collective.

As part of this participation, the PSU regularly engages with these owners and operators of crowded places in WA through forums and site visitations. For more information on the forums, please email the Protective Security Unit.

Escape. Hide. Tell.

The Australian Government has released advice for members of the public confronted by an armed offender.

View information regarding Escape. Hide. Tell.

Hazardous Materials

In December 2002, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to a national review of the regulation, reporting and security surrounding the storage, sale and handling of hazardous materials. The work was divided into four parts: ammonium nitrate; radiological sources; harmful biological materials; and hazardous chemicals (chemicals of security concern).

National Security Links