National security

The Australian approach to security and terrorism is based on strong cooperation between the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments and agencies. The Australian National Security website outlines these arrangements.

Counter-terrorism arrangements in the ACT

In-2002 the ACT Chief Minister signed an Intergovernmental Agreement on Australia’s National Counter Terrorism Arrangements. The Agreement established the Australia New Zealand Counter Terrorism Committee (ANZCTC) and outlined the respective roles and responsibilities of the Commonwealth, States and Territories in preventing and, if necessary, responding to, any terrorist incident.

ACT procedures for the prevention, preparedness, response and recovery from a threat or an actual terrorist incident are detailed in a series of multi-agency plans. These plans are constantly reviewed and tested through extensive exercise and policy review mechanisms.

The ANZCTC comprises representatives at the-Senior Executive level from jurisdictional First Minister’s departments and Police Services, together with those from relevant Commonwealth agencies. The ACT is represented on the ANZCTC by the Executive Group Manager Security and Emergency Management Division (SEMD) and the ACT Chief Police Officer.

Critical infrastructure

Protecting Australia's critical infrastructure requires a national and coordinated approach. The Australian Government defines 'critical infrastructure' as:

"those physical facilities, supply chains, information technologies and communication networks which, if destroyed, degraded or rendered unavailable for an extended period, would adversely impact on the social or economic well-being of the nation or affect Australia’s ability to ensure national security."

Under the 2002 Intergovernmental Agreement on Australia’s National Counter Terrorism Arrangements, the ACT participates in National Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) arrangements.

The Security and Emergency Management Division is responsible for providing the coordination of CIP in conjunction with ACT Policing. Under these arrangements, SEMD and ACT Policing provide various activities that support owners and operators of critical infrastructure. These include providing briefings and advice to industry and government on CIP issues, and representing the Territory at national meetings to address issues on the national approach to protecting critical infrastructure.