Australia to boost army powers in response to potential terror attacks

AAP Image  Brendan Esposito                       Special Operations Command soldiers are seen posing at Holsworthy Barracks in Sydney

"John was an outstanding leader of his country, and he is respected around the world for his influence in our region and beyond", Mr Turnbull said in a statement.

On Monday, Malcolm Turnbull announced a set of proposed changes to Australia's security laws, which pave the way for an easier army deployment to respond to "terrorist incident".

"In the current threat environment, it is most likely that a terrorist attack will use simple methodologies - a knife, a gun, a vehicle and the attack itself could be over in minutes", Mr Turnbull said.

The military will also be allowed on the streets to support the wider police response, including blocking potential suspects from leaving the scene. "We have to stay ahead of them", he said in Sydney.

Defence will offer State and Territory Governments specialised training from Special Forces for select law enforcement teams.

The Australian Defence Force has two tactical assault groups - one in Sydney and one in Perth - on standby to rapidly deploy to a terrorist attack.

But the coroner did note the "challenge global terrorism poses for state police forces calls into question the adequacy of existing arrangements".

Australian Defense Forces are to increase their support to state and local governments when responding to terrorist incidents.

The inquest into the Lindt Cafe Siege heard snipers hesitated when they thought they had a clear shot at gunman Man Haron Monis - partially because they weren't sure they had the legal justification to shoot him.

The proposed changes need parliament's approval.

"What I am doing is taking a lot of the red tape and the gum out of the works to enable cooperation between the police and the ADF (Australian Defence Force) and particularly the they can work together more seamlessly", he added.

"Contain and negotiating, which was the approach in the Lindt cafe siege, isn't going to work [in dealing with Islamist terrorists]".

Sir John has been appointed an Honorary Companion in the Order of Australia and will be invested with the insignia of his appointment by Australia's Governor-General at a ceremony at Government House in Canberra tomorrow afternoon.

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