Government announces new home security measures

May 12, 2010 Agencies
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The threat of violent extremism will be targeted by a $9.7 million package of measures announced by the government.

A-G Robert McLelland

Attorney-General, Robert McClelland said that the Government’s recent Counter-Terrorism White Paper acknowledged the risk of home grown terrorism and highlighted the importance of building a strong and resilient community to resist violent extremism and terrorism.
The Australian Government remains committed to building a strong and resilient community able to resist the development of violent extremism and terrorism on the home front.
“The threat from terrorism is real, persistent and evolving, and in the face of this the first responsibility of Government is the protection of Australia, Australians and Australia’s interests,” Mr McClelland said.
These measures underpin the comprehensive government strategy to counter violent extremism, and draws together programs that focus on:

·         identifying and diverting people at risk of violent extremism;

·         supporting rehabilitation and de-radicalisation programs conducted by State and Territory police and correctional services;

·         engaging with communities to improve social cohesion and resilience, including through local meetings and focus groups;

·         developing mentoring programs for ‘at risk’ youth in partnership with relevant community groups;

·         examining the role of the internet in the radicalisation process; and

·         improving responses to violent extremist messages and ensuring they are evidence-based and appropriate to Australian circumstances.

These measures complement a range of existing initiatives which form part of the Government’s broader social inclusion and national security agendas, including:

·         $2 million per year of National Counter-Terrorism Committee funds committed to countering violent extremism across Australia;

·         $10.8 million over four years for the Diversity and Social Cohesion program under the Department of Immigration and Citizenship;

·         $4.3 million over four years for the Australian Human Rights Commission towards building resilience in vulnerable communities and addressing social exclusion;

·         $28.1 million over three years as part of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s international counter-terrorism engagement activities; and

·         $32 million for community engagement and counter-terrorism initiatives conducted by agencies within the Attorney-General’s portfolio.

“An effective counter-terrorism strategy requires a combination of security and law enforcement responses, and broader strategies to enhance social cohesion and resilience that lessen the appeal of extremist ideologies that fuel terrorism.”

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