In September 2012, the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments entered into a formal agreement to establish New Zealand as a member of the renamed Australia-New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee (ANZCTC). Previously New Zealand had observer status on the National Counter-Terrorism Committee (NCTC). The purpose of the change was to ensure the closest possible coordination and cooperation on counter-terrorism matters. To reflect this change in membership, the committee changed its name and revised its terms of reference in Annex A of the agreement.
The ANZCTC is based on strong Trans-Tasman cooperation and it has established capabilities in such areas as crisis management, command and control, intelligence and investigation and media cooperation.
Like its predecessors, the ANZCTC continues to function as a high level body and is comprised of representatives from the Australian Government, Australian state and territory governments and the New Zealand Government.
The objectives of the ANZCTC are to contribute to the security of Australia and New Zealand through:
- maintaining the National Counter-Terrorism Plan and associated documentation
- providing expert strategic and policy advice to heads of government and other relevant ministers
- coordinating an effective nation-wide counter-terrorism capability
- maintaining effective arrangements for the sharing of relevant intelligence and information between all relevant agencies and jurisdictions
- providing advice in relation to the administration of the special fund to maintain and develop the nation-wide capability, administered by the Australian Government on the basis of advice from the ANZCTC.
The National Counter-Terrorism Committee 2002-2012
In the wake of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, the Prime Minister, premiers and chief ministers revised counter-terrorism arrangements and through an intergovernmental agreement established the National Counter-Terrorism Committee. The NCTC held its first meeting in November 2002, one month after the Bali bombings that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.
The NCTC marked its tenth anniversary in October 2012. To coincide with this, they published a report outlining their significant achievements over the last ten years and future objectives in developing and maintaining national counter-terrorism capabilities. The Ten Year Anniversary Report of the NCTC is available on the Council of Australian Governments website.
Standing Advisory Committee on Commonwealth and State Cooperation for Protection Against Violence
Following the Hilton Hotel Bombing in Sydney in 1978, then Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser announced the establishment of a committee which included Australian Government and state and territory agencies. The committee’s principal aim would be to establish a set of national arrangements and agreements to respond to threats or acts of politically motivated violence. The Standing Advisory Committee on Commonwealth and State Cooperation for Protection Against Violence (SAC-PAV) held its first meeting in February 1979.