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Australian National Security
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 What Australia is doing

In this section:

  • National Security Hotline—is the single point of contact for the public to report possible signs of terrorism.
  • Laws to combat terrorism—Australia has an extensive range of legislation around counter-terrorism, national security and related offences.
  • Australia-New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee—is made up of representatives from the Australian, state and territory governments to strengthen cooperation, collaboration and build nation-wide capability to counter terrorism.
  • National security agencies—a range of government agencies contribute to protecting Australia's national security.
  • States and territories—find out more on their roles and responses to counter-terrorism incidents and links to agencies.
  • Declared area offence—information about the offence of entering, or remaining in, a declared area in a foreign country where a listed terrorist organisation is engaging in a hostile activity in that area.

Current initiatives

National Counter-Terrorism Plan

The National Counter-Terrorism Plan is maintained by the Australia-New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee. It is the primary public document on Australia's national counter-terrorism policy and arrangements. It outlines the responsibilities, authorities and the mechanisms to prevent acts of terrorism within Australia and to manage the consequences if they do occur. Visit the Publications page to download a copy.

Countering violent extremism

The Australian Government is working with communities to build resilience to violent extremism—that is, the use or support of violence to achieve ideological, religious or political goals. Visit the Living Safe Together website for more information.

Cyber security

Cyber security is one of the Australian Government's highest national security priorities. CERT Australia is the single point of contact for cyber security issues affecting major Australian businesses. The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD, formerly DSD) provides foreign signals intelligence to the Australian Defence Force and Australian Government to support military and strategic decision-making.

The government launched its Cyber Security Strategy in 2009 with the aim to promote a secure, resilient and trusted electronic operating environment that supports Australia's national security and maximises the benefits of the digital economy. To find out more about cyber security policy and read a copy of the strategy, visit the Attorney-General's Department website.

Data retention

The Australian Government is committed to providing our law enforcement and security agencies with the tools they need to keep our community safe by requiring the telecommunications industry to retain a limited set of metadata for two years. Find out more on the Attorney-General’s Department website.

Transport and critical infrastructure

Transport systems continue to be attractive targets for terrorists seeking to inflict mass casualties, economic damage, instil fear and create spectacular media imagery. The Australian Government regulates preventive security planning in the aviation, maritime, air cargo supply chain and offshore oil and gas transport sectors. In addition, the government ensures that aviation and maritime transport security activities are carried out in accordance with Australia's international obligations. Visit the Department of Home Affairs website for more information.

The Trusted Information Sharing Network (TISN) for Critical Infrastructure Resilience website provides an environment where business and government can share vital information on security issues relevant to the protection of Australia's critical infrastructure—power, water, health, communication systems and banking—and the continuity of these essential services in the event of disasters. Visit the TISN website for more information.