Counter Terror Intelligence Sharing Deal Agreed
Victoria’s Joint Counter Terrorism Team and Corrections Victoria will work together to strengthen the way crucial intelligence is shared on prisoners and offenders who are at risk of violent extremism.
A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by Corrections Commissioner Emma Cassar and Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Ian McCartney, building on the close working relationship between the two organisations.
A Corrections Victoria intelligence analyst has been embedded with the Joint Counter Terrorism Team since early 2017, making it the first partnership of its kind between a correctional agency and a counter-terrorism team in Australia.
An MoU was recommended by the Expert Panel on Terrorism in 2017. The panel was led by former Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay and former Supreme Court of Appeal Justice David Harper.
After the fatal Brighton siege incident in June 2017, the Andrews Labor Government formed the expert panel on terrorism, which delivered a number of recommendations. One of those called for more formal sharing of information between agencies, including between the JCTT and Corrections Victoria.
The arrangement will improve communication between Corrections Victoria and the JCTT, ensuring relevant information on high-risk prisoners and offenders is shared quickly to protect Victorians from potential acts of violent extremism.
Joint Counter Terrorism Teams operate in every state and territory, and are a partnership between the Australian Federal Police, local police and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).
Corrections Victoria is responsible for more than 8000 prisoners who are currently in custody.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Corrections Ben Carroll
“The Andrews Labor Government is working closely with state and federal agencies to keep Victorians safe from violent extremism.”
“The agreement between Corrections Victoria and the Joint Counter Terrorism Team builds on these efforts and contributes to a safer Victorian community.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville
“We’ve undertaken the biggest overhaul of Victoria’s counter terrorism laws since they were first introduced – giving police the powers they need to keep us safe.”
“We’ve funded the Counter Terrorism unit, which has enabled this close work with JCCT, and through initiatives such as the Fixated Threat Assessment Centre and targeted programs to tackle violent extremism, we’re supporting police to intervene early and stop extremist behaviour.”
Quotes attributable to Corrections Commissioner Emma Cassar
“The MoU formalises the strong partnership we already have in place with the Joint Counter Terrorism Team.”
“The information shared between the two organisations is delivering positive results in our prison system and in the broader community.”