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Abbott: Keeping Our Country As Safe As Possible

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has focussed on national security and terrorism in his weekly video message.

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Transcript of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s weekly video message.

Recent events in the Middle East have reminded Australians that we live in an uncertain world.

The Government has been working to keep our country as safe as possible – because your security is our first priority.

Yesterday, on advice from experts in our security and intelligence agencies, the National Terrorism Public Alert was raised from medium to high.

ASIO independently determines this threat level.

I stress that the increased alert does not mean that a terror attack is imminent.

The Government’s advice is not based on knowledge of a specific plot but rather on a body of evidence that points to the increased likelihood of a terrorist attack in Australia.

Raising the alert level to High is designed to raise awareness in the community.

People who notice things that are suspicious should ring the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400.

But people should go about their lives normally – reassured that strong arrangements are in place to detect, to prevent and to respond to terrorism.

Long before the events of recent days, our security agencies have been sifting intelligence and working quietly and purposefully behind the scenes.

The Government has committed an extra $630 million to boost our counter terrorism capacity to strengthen our security and intelligence organisations.

The Government is also strengthening our ability to monitor, to arrest, and to prosecute people who have been involved with terrorist groups overseas.

People who get involved with a terrorist organisation will be jailed.

And we will make it harder for would-be terrorists to depart from Australia.

The Government is working with the States and the Territories; consulting with the Opposition; and taking considered action so that you can continue to lead your lives confident that everything, everything possible is being done to protect you.

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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