Tough new laws that will keep radicalised and dangerous criminals behind bars will be introduced into Parliament today.
The Terrorism (High Risk Offenders) Bill 2017 will give authorities power to keep offenders locked up if they pose an unacceptable risk of committing serious terrorism offences after completing their sentences.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said, “NSW has some of the toughest terrorism laws in Australia and they will be further strengthened by these new measures to protect the community from known dangerous offenders.”
Attorney General Mark Speakman said the legislation creates a new High Risk Terrorist Offenders Scheme, which allows the Supreme Court to place offenders who pose an unacceptable risk of terrorism on Continuing Detention Orders (CDOs) or Extended Supervision Orders (ESOs).
“An offender may not have served a sentence for a terrorism offence, but in this age, where the threat of terrorism and radicalisation is real, the state needs to be able to apply for the offender to be placed on a CDO or ESO because of the threat they pose to the community,” Mr Speakman said.
Upon application from the Attorney General, the Supreme Court must be satisfied to a high degree of probability that the offender poses an unacceptable risk to be placed on an order.
Police Minister Troy Grant said, “The NSW Police Force will contribute to a comprehensive joint process with Corrective Services NSW that will identify offenders of concern as they near the end of their sentence.”
Minister for Counter Terrorism David Elliott said, “This is about being responsive to the evolving threat of terrorism. If an offender is found by the court to be an unacceptable risk, then it is vital that we have laws to protect the community against that danger.”
The new laws complement the Commonwealth’s post-sentence detention scheme for high-risk terrorist offenders. This scheme builds on a range of reforms implemented by the NSW Government, including new laws for investigative detention, a presumption against bail and parole for anyone with links to terror, and providing certainty for police officers required to use lethal force against terrorists.