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Soldiers may join cops on streets

Australian Commandos. Photo defencejobs.gov.au

Australian Commandos. Photo defencejobs.gov.au

CANBERRA [AAP]

Australia’s defence laws will be overhauled the smooth the way for soldiers to be deployed to assist local police dealing with terrorist threats.

Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull will on Monday announce the changes, which follow a review into the 2014 fatal Lindt Cafe siege.

Special Forces soldiers will provide specialised training to state and territory police forces and some may be embedded to improve cooperation.

Justice minister Michael Keenan says the changes build on an already strong relationship between the military and police, but are more flexible.

‘In 2005 we never imagined Australia would be under the current terrorism threat that it is,’ he told ABC radio.

‘We need to make sure that the “call-out” powers are appropriate for the current circumstances.’

Local police will still take the lead in responding to terrorist incidents.

‘There would only be limited circumstances in which the niche military capabilities that we have would be required,’ Mr Keenan said.


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