Concern over the threat of terrorism reaching home soil has dominated news headlines in recent weeks.
Just yesterday, in the latest development, counter-terrorism raids were carried out on several Melbourne suburbs in an operation which led to a Seabrook man being charged with intentionally funding a terrorist organisation.
A week earlier, an 18-year-old terror suspect was shot dead at a Victorian police station after stabbing two officers.
The series of events began with a warning about a rising local terror threat followed by the first set of anti-terrorism raids in Sydney and Brisbane on September 18.
The New Daily hit the streets to find out how ordinary Australians feel about the situation.
“It’s scary because you see it on TV and movies but you don’t expect it to happen in your own home. But I also think it’s important that people don’t start freaking out.
“You can see people changing the way they live and not trusting people and we need to remember that just because somebody looks different doesn’t mean they’re going to hurt us. It’s important people don’t start judging people just because of they way they look because a few people did something bad.”
“I was very shocked. It’s never good to hear an act of terrorism on your home soil. [But] I think it has been hyped up a bit in the sense they’ve raised the terror alert. I think it’s probably getting a little too hyped up … but it’s absolutely not good to hear.
“I probably would have expected it somewhere else and not here. But in terms of how I act and respond it doesn’t change anything for me.”
“It was unfortunate and it was a scary thing but what can you say? It’s happened. It did make me feel scared a little bit but I don’t think that overall I’m in danger.
“I’m just going to continue living life as I usually do. What’s the point in altering your behaviour for something that could or could not happen? By being scared of it, whoever we’re supposed to be afraid of, it’s letting them win. So why would you give them the satisfaction.”
Bruce White, 56, Planner
“It made me feel how vulnerable we really are and I think we’ve taken for granted our security and we need to upgrade it. Police need to be more vigilant.
“I still feel safe but I’m more aware of my surroundings from it.”
April Schoenmaker, 22, Nutritionist
“It made me feel that we continue on with life even though it’s quite a scare. Looking at the street right now it doesn’t look like anyone’s afraid of a terrorist attack, but it could actually happen so I think we need to be more aware of it.
“I still feel safe. That might be a little naive but I still feel safe. I don’t live in the city. I live out in the hills. I don’t really think that’s a threat there.”
“I think personally the government’s overplayed the whole situation and is probably just encouraging more racism in Australia.
“I feel no different and just as safe as I normally do. I don’t actually see much happening. Even with the raids last week I think the government waited to do it so they could pass the laws.
“Overseas is obviously not good but I think we’re very sheltered from it over here. I think the media coverage doesn’t help and it’s portrayed it in a worse way than what it actually is.”
Natalie Bennett, 33, Administration
“It’s shocking but we’re not as bad off as other countries.
“I’d be more cautious and be more wary but I wouldn’t let it stop me from doing what I want to do but I’ll definitely be more cautious of the bigger events. You’d hope no one would get the Melbourne Show. It’s full of children. I’m scared about my kids growing up with this coming into our country.”
“I feel safe. There’s danger all around. I live in central Melbourne and not Endeavour Hills but you just never know when these things are going to happen.
“At the end of the day I feel sorry for everyone and sometimes I think there is a bit of a scare thing out there but I guess with the random nature of ISIS and what they’re doing, I think people are a little bit concerned for sure.”
Beverly Gardner, 58, Childcare
“I feel safe walking around the city [Melbourne]. I’ve never had any problems. I’ve not seen anything that’s made me feel unsafe.
“I trust the police to take care of it and that’s it.”