Special Response and Counter-Terrorism Command
The Special Response and Counter-Terrorism Command (SRCT) provides subject matter expertise as well as consistency in advice and approach to counter-terrorism activities in Tasmania. The SRCT is the coordination point for Tasmanian Government counter-terrorism measures, and establishes the arrangements in relation to terrorist threats.
The SRCT is responsible for:
- Liaising with businesses, the Commonwealth and other state and territory jurisdictions on counter-terrorism issues.
- Providing research and policy advice on counter-terrorism security-related issues to Government.
- The management and operation of the State Control Centre.
- Identifying and engaging critical infrastructure owner/operators on security risk assessment and risk management plans, including security advice concerning crowded places as it relates to terrorism.
- Developing and managing a counter-terrorism exercise and training regime, which may include owners and operators of crowded places or critical infrastructure.
- Maintaining Tasmania Police capability to respond quickly and effectively to specific terrorist threats.
- Provide advice in respect to security sensitive hazardous materials.
- Monitoring counter-terrorism intelligence to support SRCT responsibilities.
- Providing secretariat services for Tasmania’s Crowded Places Forums.
Countering Violent Extremism
In addition to the above, the jurisdictional Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Interventions Coordinator is situated within the SRCT. Tasmania Police is committed to working with other Government agencies, non-Government agencies and support services in identifying those vulnerable of radicalisation to violent extremism. For further information visit www.livingsafetogether.gov.au.
Emergency Management Section
An Emergency Management Section (EMS) was established within SRCT to enhance and support the role of Tasmania Police in an all-hazards environment.
For further information on Emergency Management arrangements within Tasmania, visit the State Emergency Services Website.
Tasmania is part of a national approach to counter terrorism between Commonwealth, State and Territory law enforcement and security agencies. Safeguarding Our Community Together: Australia’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy 2022 provides information to the Australian community on the terrorist threat we face and what is being done to counter it.
The Strategy is available on the Australian National Security website: nationalsecurity.gov.au.
Australia-New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee
The Australia-New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee (ANZCTC) is a high-level body comprised of representatives from the Australian Government, Australian state and territory governments and the New Zealand Government. It was previously known as the National Counter-Terrorism Committee (NCTC) and the Standing Advisory Committee on Commonwealth and State Cooperation for Protection Against Violence (SAC-PAV). 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.
SRCT provides secretariat services to Tasmanian ANZCTC representatives and coordinates/administers ANZCTC associated activities within the state.
National Counter-Terrorism Strategy
Safeguarding Our Community Together: Australia’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy 2022 sets out Australia’s strategic arrangements in respect to preventing and dealing with acts of terrorism in Australia. It outlines how the combined resources of law enforcement, security intelligence agencies as well as other government and community sector agencies are used to prevent, prepare and mitigate, respond to and recover from terrorist incidents or threats. The most recent edition of the Strategy was published in March 2022 and is currently being reviewed.
National Terrorism Threat Advisory System
The National Terrorism Threat Advisory System informs the public about the likelihood of an act of terrorism occurring in Australia. It includes five National Terrorism Threat Levels:
Australia’s National Terrorism Threat level is POSSIBLE. The National Threat Assessment Centre (NTAC) in ASIO assesses that while Australia remains a potential terrorist target, there are fewer extremists with the intention to conduct an attack here in Australia. The Threat Level of POSSIBLE does not mean the threat from terrorism in Australia has been extinguished.
The most likely form of terrorism in Australia continues to be an attack carried out by a single person or a small group using basic weapons (knives, vehicles), explosives and firearms. These kinds of attacks can be difficult to detect and may occur with little or no warning.
The threat from religiously motivated violent extremists has moderated. The appeal, reach and abilities of overseas groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and al-Qa’ida has reduced.
The threat from ideologically motivated violent extremists (such as nationalist and racist violent extremists) continues. But supporters are more likely to focus on recruitment and radicalisation than planning for attacks.
Go to the National Security website for more information on the National Terrorism Threat Advisory System and the National Terrorism Threat Advisory Level.
Advice to the community
Tasmanians can be reassured that Tasmania Police, as the lead agency for counter-terrorism preparedness and response in this State, is well prepared to respond to terrorist threats.
Together with other emergency response agencies, Tasmania Police is equipped with a range of specialist response capabilities and participates in regular training activities and exercises. Tasmania is represented on the Australia-New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee (ANZCTC).
In the event of a terrorist incident, Tasmania Police will provide TasALERT with information and guidance for the public and organisations.
The community should continue to be vigilant. Your safety is our priority. Unusual or suspicious activity should be reported to the Police Assistance Line on 131 444 or the National Security Hotline on 1800 1234 00.
For assistance in a life threatening or time critical emergency call Triple Zero (000).
Visit www.alert.tas.gov.au or www.nationalsecurity.gov.au for further information.
Advice to Businesses, and Owners and Operators of Critical Infrastructure
Critical infrastructure provides services which are essential for everyday life such as energy, food, water, transport, communications, health and banking and finance. Any disruption to critical infrastructure could have a range of serious implications for business, governments and the community.
All governments recognise the threat posed by terrorism. Although governments have a role in the protection of critical infrastructure, it is a matter of responsibility and good corporate governance that owners/operators of critical infrastructure address the security of their assets and continuity of their business.
The current national arrangements focusing on protecting critical infrastructure against the threat of terrorist attack are coordinated under the auspices of the Australia-New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee (ANZCTC) and are published as the National Guidelines for Protecting Critical Infrastructure from Terrorism. These guidelines assist in the definition and identification of critical infrastructure as well as describe the approach taken for the protection of critical infrastructure from terrorism through identifying responsibilities and security measures for consideration. Governments expect owners/operators should:
- maintain an awareness of their operating environment
- provide adequate security for their assets, based on threat and risk
- actively apply risk management techniques to their planning processes
- conduct regular reviews of risk assessments and security, emergency and contingency plans
- report any incidents or suspicious activity to Tasmania police through established District contacts
- develop and regularly review business continuity plans, including identifying interdependencies
- conduct training and exercise their security, emergency and contingency plans
- participate in exercises to assist in harmonising prevention, response and recovery arrangements with relevant controlling agencies.
In addition, the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Strategy, comprises a policy statement and a plan for practical implementation. It aims to ensure the continued operation of critical infrastructure in the face of all hazards. Further information is available here.
If you would like further information in the counter-terrorism context, please contact SRCT@police.tas.gov.au
National Strategy for the Protection of Crowded Places Against Terrorism
Crowded places are locations which are easily accessible by large numbers of people on a predictable basis. They may be stadiums, shopping centres, pedestrian malls or major events, and will continue to be attractive targets for terrorists. Attacks on crowded places overseas, demonstrate how basic weapons – including vehicles, knives, and firearms – can be used by terrorists to devastating effect. Owners and operators of crowded places have the primary responsibility for protecting their sites, including a duty of care to take steps to protect people that work, use or visit their site from a range of foreseeable threats, including terrorism.
Australia’s Strategy for Protecting Crowded Places from Terrorism has been developed to protect the lives of people working in, using, and visiting crowded places by making these places more resilient. The Strategy is based on strong, trusted partnerships between all levels of government and those responsible for crowded places. It aims to make crowded places as resilient as possible to terrorist attacks while preserving our use and enjoyment of these places.
If you are an owner or operator of a crowded place or are planning an event, please visit the linked website for further information and tools which may be of assistance.