Western Australian police granted "lethal force powers" under new anti-terrorism legislation
SYDNEY, June 29 (Xinhua) -- Police in Western Australia have been given authority to use preemptive lethal force in response to terrorism incidents, in accordance with new laws passed on Thursday.
The new legislation is a response to coronial findings following a 2014 terrorist attack in the New South Wales state when three people were killed, including the gunman, who held hostages in a 16 hour stand-off with police at a Sydney cafe.
"These new laws ensure our police have sufficient legal protection if preemptive force is required to save hostages in a potential terrorism incident," Western Australian State Police Minister Michelle Robert said.
While the Terrorism (Extraordinary Powers) Amendment Bill 2018 gives police legal protection in the event they use lethal force preemptively, there is a condition that the Western Australian Commissioner of Police would first have to declare the incident they are responding to is suspected to be terrorism related.
"My government has given police greater powers to fight the insidious scourge of terrorism," Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan said.
"I hope these laws never have to be used, but if the worst occurs, our police will be ready to respond."