ISIL reaches out with deadly purpose from Iraq and Syria to the other states of the Middle East. And it
reaches out to us as well. On Tuesday last, our intelligence services intercepted a senior ISIL operative
instructing his Sydney network to commit demonstration killings.
The intent was to murder innocent people and then broadcast these atrocities to the world. The sole purpose
was to strike fear into the hearts of Australians.
It is difficult to comprehend that around 60 Australians are currently fighting with terrorist groups in Iraq
and Syria, with at least 100 assisting and financing their evil work.
Still that’s the reality of the terror threat that Australia’s faces. I can assure you that your government will do
whatever is humanly possible to keep our country safe.
Australians who join terrorist groups abroad are committing a serious crime. If they return, they will be
arrested, prosecuted and gaoled.
Every country has a responsibility for the behaviour of its citizens and for the safety of the wider world.
Australia is doing its part.
The Government is committing an additional $630 million over four years for counter-terrorism measures.
More resources are going to the Australian Federal Police, to the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, the
Office of National Assessments and the Customs and Border Protection Service.
Biometric screening is being installed at all our international airports and border force counter terrorism
units will soon operate at all international airports.
New national security laws will strengthen our ability to monitor returning foreign fighters and prevent
extremists from departing Australia.
Community outreach is also critically important. We know those fighting for ISIL and other terrorist groups
are men in their early 20s or younger.
We have to make it clear that travelling abroad to join ISIL is not just another youthful adventure. It’s a
crime with serious consequences.
And we also have to strip away the false glamour that can attract young men to this extreme ideology by
showing the truth of what it offers, which is nothing more than destruction and despair.
Disrupting, degrading and ultimately destroying ISIL will take comprehensive and sustained effort—from
the United States and its allies.
These are troubling times. While it is important the public is aware of the increased threat, Australians
should continue to go about their lives.
Our police and security services are highly professional and determined to stay at least one step ahead of
those who would do us harm.
By working together in our communities, with our friends and neighbours in the region, and with our
partners in the international coalition, I believe we will prevail.