Message from the Chief Commissioner

State Security and Terrorism

Chemicals of security concern

Release date: Tue 5 September 2017

Last updated: Thu 14 September 2017

Chemicals of security concern

Terrorist's choice of methods of attack is constantly evolving. Therefore, security planning in Victoria considers a broad range of attack methods, including the use of chemicals that can be used to produce explosives or toxic weapons.

A chemical is a material that may pose a health hazard or physical hazard, and include compounds that are toxic, flammable or corrosive.

A chemical weapon is a device or mechanism designed to deliberately deploy a harmful chemical. Chemical weapons use the toxic properties of chemical substances, rather than their explosive properties, to produce physiological effects on victims.

Approximately 40,000 chemicals are approved for use in Australia. Of those 40,000 chemicals, 96 are identified as being chemicals of security concern because of their potential to be used by terrorists to make bombs or toxic weapons.

Readily available chemicals can be misused by terrorist to make explosives or toxic devices. If you work with chemicals you have an important role to play in keeping Australia safe. Members of the Australian community can also help by being aware and reporting suspicious behaviour.

You are encouraged to report anything that seems unusual to the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400 or


Visit the Chemical of Security Concern website for a range of materials that help raise awareness about chemical security including: 

  • Fact sheets and brochures
  • Translated factsheets and brochures
  • Online training
  • Videos
  • Media announcements from governments
  • Intergovernmental agreement
  • Links to government partners


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