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Terrorism in Australia ‘inevitable’: poll

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More than three quarters of Australians believe a Paris-style terrorism attack on home soil is at least ‘likely’, according to an exclusive poll in The Australian.

Just over a week after the tragic November 13 attacks in Paris, 24 per cent feel an incident in Australia was inevitable, 23 per cent said it was very likely, and 29 per cent said it was likely.

According to Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan, Australia’s ‘high’ terror alert rating “actually means a terror attack in Australia is likely”.

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Only one per cent of people polled believed a terror attack would never happen, while 3 and 12 per cent thought it was very unlikely and unlikely respectively.

Coalition voters expect a large-scale attack in Australia the most, with 82 per cent believing it likely or inevitable.

That’s compared to 72 per cent of Labor voters and 62 per cent for the Greens. 

The Newspoll also revealed that 42 per cent of Australians wanted ground soldiers committed to fight in Syria, while 45 per cent were opposed to that measure. 

Last week, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Australia should have a military presence on the ground in Syria.

Ex-Defence Minister Kevin Andrews echoed that point of view in an opinion piece on Monday morning.

Calls for a ground invasion of Syria and fears about terrorism attacks in Australia have increased since a team of coordinated gunmen and suicide bombers killed 130 people across Paris in a night of violence.

Some 48 per cent of Coalition voters backed having troops in Syria, while 40 per cent did not. For Labor voters, the split was 51 per cent opposed and 41 per cent for.

Speaking in response to the poll on Sky News, Education Minister Simon Birmingham said the government was well aware of the threat.

tony abbott
Mr Abbott weighed into the Syrian war debate last week. Photo: AAP

“We are doing everything we can internationally and domestically to prevent these types of attacks occurring,” Mr Birmingham said.

“We have significant investments in our security agencies … we operate at a high level at risk but that is simply an acknowledgement of the fact that people would attack us simply because of our way of life.”

With Islamic State taking responsibility for the attacks on Paris, the Newspoll asked whether the Muslim community in Australia was doing enough to condemn the events.

Only 20 per cent of the 1573 people questioned thought the Muslim community was “currently doing enough”, while 65 percent said it “should be doing more” to condemn the Paris terrorism.

The poll found 44 per cent of Australians think Australia should take fewer than 12,000 Syrians refugees should be taken by the government, and 22 per cent thought that number should be higher.

Tensions toward terrorism rose again over the weekend and into Monday, as the Belgian capital Brussels remained on the highest terrorism alert possible.

Schools and subways were closed in the city as the country battles to combat a series of threats.

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