Queensland has announced more will be spent on fighting violent extremism.
Police Minister Bill Byrne also unveiled a plan for a new police facility for counter terrorism training.
He said the Palaszczuk Government had committed more than $16.2 million in increased funding over four years for the Queensland Police Service (QPS) to enhance its response to terrorism.
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“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to keeping the people of Queensland safe from terrorism – and with the national threat level remaining ‘probable’, we need to ensure that our police are well-equipped and have an enhanced ability to counter violent extremism across the state,” Mr Byrne said.
“This new funding will help police deal with the rising workload from the current security threat by allowing a reallocation of officers to meet counter-terrorism demands, supported by contracted specialist resources.
“This will enhance the ability of police to profile and assess persons of interest, source valuable intelligence and conduct covert surveillance and monitoring.”
Mr Byrne said the Government would also provide $5 million to develop a business case for a new Counter Terrorism and Community Safety Centre at the Westgate police training facility.
“The quality of the education, training and development of recruits and police officers is key to maintaining high levels of operational readiness,” Mr Byrne said.
“A business case will be developed to investigate ways to provide police with the facilities and equipment to continue boosting our counter terrorism capability.”
The centre would comprise of two elements:
An indoor firing range – allowing police to train for active armed offender incidents; and
A scenario village – a mock streetscape including housing, offices and other buildings, allowing police to simulate real-life counter terrorism incidents including lone-wolf and hostage incidents.
Commissioner Ian Stewart said the new funding would assist both specialist officers from the Intelligence, Counter Terrorism and Major Events Command as well as regional police right across the state.
“The number of counter terrorism incidents and operations across Australia is rising and this has a direct flow-on effect to the workload of our officers,” Commissioner Stewart said.
“We are seeing a significant and sustained increase in intelligence reporting and police priorities are changing accordingly.
“Keeping Queenslanders safe is our top priority and this funding boost will significantly assist the QPS in playing its role in addressing this national issue.”
The Queensland Budget will be unveiled on Tuesday afternoon.