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Counter Terrorism Strategy 2018-21

This document fulfils a number of functions, including articulating Victoria Police's current and future counter terrorism priorities and activities. It also seeks to heighten awareness of, and make more transparent, Victoria Police's counter terrorism activities and guiding principles.

You will also find information on what you, your business and/or community can do to assist in preventing terrorism, being prepared, responding to or recovering from a terrorist incident, should the need ever arise.

National security and terrorism

The Australian National Security Hotline is the single point of contact for the public to report possible signs of terrorism. It also provides information to callers on a wide range of national security matters.

Visit the Australian National Security website or call the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400.

Counter terrorism arrangements

Victorian emergency management arrangements

Victoria's emergency management arrangements are designed to deal with all hazards, including terrorism. The Emergency Management Act 2013 defines Victoria's emergency management structure and assigns significant roles and responsibilities.

The Emergency Management Manual Victoria contains the principal policies and planning arrangements.

Further information is available on the Emergency Management Victoria website

Victoria Police Counter Terrorism Framework

The aim of the framework is to articulate the principles that guide Victoria Police's approach to counter terrorism.

Australia's Counter-Terrorism Strategy

Australia's Counter-Terrorism Strategy is a Council of Australian Governments document that outlines the current terrorist threat that Australia is facing, and what our governments are doing about it. It focusses on five core elements: challenging violent extremist ideologies, stopping people from becoming terrorists, shaping the global environment to counter terrorism, disrupting terrorist activity within Australia and having effective responses and recovery should an attack occur.

The strategy is published on the Australian National Security website


What is terrorism?

When we hear the word terrorism, we generally think of a person or a group of people using or threatening to use violence against others to achieve their own political or religious advantage. More recently the violence used involves guns or bombs or other weapons designed to kill or hurt a number of people at one time.

A 'terrorist act' is defined under Australian law as:

an act or threat, intended to advance a political, ideological or religious cause by coercing or intimidating an Australian or foreign government or the public. This action must cause serious harm to people or property, create a serious risk to the health and safety to the public, or seriously disrupt trade, critical infrastructure or electronic systems.

Criminal Code Act 1995 (Commonwealth)

A 'terrorist incident' is a combination of circumstances or conditions which may lead to or result from a terrorist act, and which require preventative and/or responsive action.

Find out more about what amounts to a terrorist act on the Australian Government's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website

Terrorism law in Australia

When terrorist incidents have occurred throughout history, existing law was used to deal with the offenders after the event. Given the increase in the number and seriousness of terrorist incidents around the world, Australia has now developed specific laws to prevent terrorist attacks and deal appropriately with those involved in terrorism.

The nature of terrorism means its implications may cross jurisdictional boundaries. This, and the range of preventative measures and capabilities that may be required, necessitates that Australia maintain a national, cooperative approach to counter terrorism.

The Commonwealth has enacted specific anti-terrorism laws which can be found in the Criminal Code Act and Regulations 1995 (Commonwealth) at Part 5.3 Division 100 onwards. Criminal offences covering terrorism are primarily dealt with under the Commonwealth Criminal Code, which is intended to be comprehensive and uniform across Australia. Victoria enacted the Terrorism (Community Protect) Act 2003 (the Act) to cover those areas where Victoria continued to have legislative responsibility.

More information about Commonwealth terrorism legislation can be found on the Australian National Security website

Terrorist organisations

What defines a terrorism organisation is explained in Commonwealth legislation.

A terrorist organisation is an organisation that:

  • a court finds is directly or indirectly engaged in preparing, planning, assisting or fostering the doing of a terrorist act; or
  • the government has listed as a terrorist organisation by regulations.

More information about the listing of terrorist organisations and related legislation is available on the Australian National Security website.

Victorian counter terrorism legislation

Terrorism (Community Protection) Act 2003

The Terrorism (Community Protection) Act 2003 is available on the Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents website

Victorian review of Counter-terrorism Legislation report and Victorian Government response

The Victorian review of Counter-Terrorism Legislation Report and the Victorian Government response was tabled in Parliament on 16 September 2014.

Visit the Department of Justice website

The links below are to further information from government agencies in Victoria, other States and Territories in Australia, and from Australian Government agencies.

National Security and Terrorism

The National Security Hotline is the single point of contact for the public to report possible signs of terrorism. It also provides information to callers on a wide range of national security matters.

Visit or call the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400

Emergency Assistance

For emergencies where immediate police, fire or ambulance assistance is required, call Triple Zero (000)

Non-Emergency Crime

Contact your local police station via phone or in person to report non-emergency crime incidents.

If you have any information regarding a crime, or criminal activity, you can confidentially report what you know by calling Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or by visiting

Victorian Government and emergency services

Victorian Government website


Victoria - Crime Stoppers

Ambulance Service of Victoria

Country Fire Authority (CFA)

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)

Metropolitian Fire and Emergency Services Board (MFB)

Victoria State Emergency Service


Australian National Security

Smart Traveller

Standards Australia

Australian Food and Grocery Council

Other states and territories

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

New South Wales - Secure

Northern Territory - Secure NT

Queensland Government - Safe Guarding Queensland

South Australia - Fire and Emergency Services Commission

Western Australia - Office of State Security and Emergency Coordination


Media centre

Victoria Police News

Access the latest media releases. The site features the latest police news, media releases, online chats and blogs with Victoria Police members.

Press conferences

Watch live Victoria Police press conferences held at the Victoria Police Media Conference Room

For Victorian Government media releases visit

For National Security media and publications visit

Reviewed 19 March 2019