FOLLOWING the fatal shooting of accountant Curtis Cheng by a teenager outside Police Headquarters in Parramatta earlier this month the issue of radicalisation among young members of the community has been at the forefront of discussions.
Federal Attorney-General George Brandis said new laws have been developed in conjunction with states and territories to lower the age which a control order can be applied from 16 to 14 years old.
In a statement last week he said that the Government would introduce the fifth instalment of counter-terrorism laws.
“As the threat evolves so will our response to ensure that our police and security agencies have the powers they need to keep our community safe,” he said.
Australian Arab Association Director and People of Australia Ambassador Salim Youssef said prevention programs within the community would be more effective.
“When youth in western societies feel they belong to their respective societies, they develop a sense of ownership, which in turn encourages them to defend their newly adopted countries and protect them from harm or terrorism,” he said.
“Engaging communities in Australia would mean involving civil society and political leaders of these communities in exploring ways to improve the wellbeing of their communities.”
Before the shooting, West Australian Police began implementing the Countering Violent Extremism Intervention Program, which has been supported by the Federal government.
A spokesman for the Federal Attorney-General’s Department said the government was providing support and funding to state and territory-led intervention programs across the country.
“These programs represent a critical new capability to help people, preferably before law enforcement is required,” he said. “However, the programs may also support the diversion of those who come to the attention of authorities, such as those stopped at the border and prevented from travelling.”
Because the radicalisation to violence process is unique to each person, responses needed to be flexible and meet the individual’s needs.
“Tailored case management plans are developed for each individual to connect them with services aimed at helping them disengage from violence and reconnect with the community,” he said.
The intervention programs are nationally co-ordinated and supported but implemented by states and territories.