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Australia PM Tony Abbott to unveil anti-terror strategy

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AUSTRALIAN PM Tony Abbott is due to unveil a new anti-terrorism strategy and appoint a security tsar to tackle what he says are rising threats.

He will announce the changes in a speech in Canberra, focusing on proposals made in a review commissioned by the government last year.

The prime minister is also expected to overhaul the public alert system.

On Sunday he said “the system has let us down”, following a report into the deadly Sydney cafe siege in December.

Two hostages were killed when self-styled cleric Man Haron Monis attacked the Lindt cafe on 15 December. The gunman was also killed when police stormed the cafe.

The report – released on Sunday – said Australia’s security hotline had received 18 calls about Monis just before the siege- but none suggested an imminent attack.

Australian officials have also warned that the country is facing growing threats from radical Islamists, pointing out that dozens of Australian nationals are fighting for Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.

In his address at the federal police headquarters in Canberra, Mr Abbott is expected to say that “Australia has entered a new, long-term era of heightened terrorism threat, with a much more significant home-grown element”, Australian media report.He will draw on the findings of the government review, which suggest that the “threat to Australia is worsening”.

The prime minister has already signalled he will toughen immigration and visa procedures, and make changes to the legal system.

On Sunday, he warned that Australia would have to reconsider where the line was between individual freedoms and the safety of the community.


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