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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 21160

National Counter Terrorism Committee To Meet

Photo of Howard, John

Howard, John

Period of Service: 11/03/1996 to 03/12/2007

More information about Howard, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 14/03/2004

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 21160

In light of the attack in Madrid, I have asked the National Counter-Terrorism Committee (NCTC) to convene a teleconference tomorrow to discuss transport security arrangements in Australia.

This is the key, national coordinating body for counter-terrorism in Australia. It meets on a regular basis and it is appropriate for it to do so, in light of a major international security incident.

The Committee is chaired by a Deputy Secretary of my department and brings together representatives from relevant Australian Government agencies, Deputy Police Commissioners from all States and Territories and senior representatives from Premiers' and Chief Ministers' departments.

The Australian and state and territory governments work cooperatively together on the full range of national security arrangements. These are set out in the National Counter-Terrorism Plan which includes arrangements for transport security.

Transport security is managed by relevant agencies on a daily basis and arrangements are in place to ensure that if circumstances change, appropriate measures are taken. In light of the Madrid attack, the NCTC will work to ensure that these transport security measures are as robust as possible in the current threat environment.

Clearly, the terrorist attack in Madrid highlights the worldwide threat of terrorism and our ongoing need for vigilance. In the last twelve months alone, there have been terrorist attacks in a number of countries including Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Turkey and now Spain. It is a reminder that no country is free from risk.

Our security and intelligence agencies are constantly monitoring the global situation. There is presently no known specific threat to Australia and the level of national counter-terrorism alert remains at medium.

Transcript 21160