The review of the Terrorism (Community Protection) Act 2003 (the Act) is now complete.
The review found that there is an ongoing need for the Act to provide balanced and proportionate powers to protect the Victorian community from acts of terrorism. The review makes 12 recommendations to reform the operation of the Act, strengthen its safeguards and enable the effective use of its powers.
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Victorian community in 2020, the review was completed in two stages.
To meet the requirements of section 38 of the Act, a statutory review of the Act was conducted in 2020 (Stage One). The Stage One Report was tabled before both houses of Parliament on 10 December 2020.
This review (Stage Two) addressed the Act’s expiry on 1 December 2021. The terms of reference for the second stage of the review were to consider the operation of the Act in terms of its:
- ongoing need: determine whether the Act’s 1 December 2021 expiry should be retained, repealed or extended
- fairness and proportionality: assess whether the system of safeguards designed to ensure the proper exercise of powers set out in the Act is appropriate
- effectiveness: review any other relevant issues that arise in relation to the operation of the Act, including the issues raised in the Stage One Report.
The Stage Two Report was tabled before both houses of Parliament on 16 September 2021 and is available for download below.
Stage Two was initiated with the development and public release of the Terrorism (Community Protection) Act 2003 Stage Two Review Issues Paper (see below). This paper explored issues related to the Act’s ongoing need, fairness and proportionality, and effectiveness and sought responses to a range of questions relevant to these issues.
The Issues Paper was sent directly to over 50 stakeholders, including agencies and entities with a role under the Act, Commonwealth law enforcement and intelligence agencies, legal and civil rights groups and community and multi-faith organisations. and Additionally, the paper was published on 6 May 2021 on this page, seeking feedback from the Victorian community. In response, 13 submissions were received responding to the questions raised in the issues paper. Three of those submissions were provided on the basis that they be kept confidential. The remaining submissions can be viewed below.
The Issues Paper was also used to form the basis of discussions with a range of government and non-government stakeholders in roundtables and individual meetings throughout May and June 2021. This process provided a valuable and diverse range of perspectives on the issues concerning the operation of the Act.
As an alternative, or in addition, to providing a full submission, the department also provided an opportunity for organisations or individuals to provide feedback by answering the following three questions on this page:
- Does Victoria still need the Act?
- Does the Act still provide effective tools for preventing and responding to terrorist acts?
- Is the Act fair and proportionate?
Four responses to these questions were received, with one respondent also providing additional information. All responses supported the ongoing need for the Act, and one response noted that the safety of all Australians must be protected, regardless of the faith they profess or lifestyle they choose. Responses were split on whether the Act provides effective tools for preventing and responding to terrorist acts. Three out of four responses considered that the Act was fair and proportionate, while one did not. Two responses emphasised that the Act must be capable of preventing and responding to terrorist threats across the spectrum of ideological and political causes, including threats inspired by both right and left wing extremism.
The review of the Terrorism (Community Protection) Act 2003 (the Act) was completed by the Department of Justice and Community Safety (DJCS). Respondents were not required to provide any personal information to make a submission or provide feedback on the review of the Act. All fields on the submission form relating to personal information (such as providing a name or email address) were optional.
Where respondents chose to provide personal information, the review only used it for the purpose of providing updates on the progress of the review, seeking clarification on your submission or feedback, or notifying respondents of the release of the project’s final report.
DJCS does not disclose personal information without consent, except where required to do so by law. You may contact DJCS to request access to any personal information you have provided to us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
DJCS Privacy Statement
DJCS is committed to protecting personal information provided by you in accordance with the principles of Victorian privacy laws.
Any personal information provided as a result of making a submission or providing feedback was not circulated outside of DJCS unless you included personal information in your submission and have consented to your entire submission being made public. In addition, the only purpose for which DJCS has used your personal information is to contact you about your submission or feedback where you have indicated that you can be contacted for this purpose.