Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will today urge state and territory leaders to pass legislation that would see some terrorists locked up indefinitely, like paedophiles.
Such laws could have seen one of Islamic State’s most notorious Australian fighters, Khaled Sharrouf, remain in prison, if he had been deemed likely to commit another offence.
Mr Turnbull has put the idea on the agenda for his meeting with premiers and chief ministers in Sydney today.
The head of Federal Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee, Dan Tehan, said the Charlie Hebdo attack in France justified such measures.
“Sadly we’ve seen in France, where we’ve had people convicted of terrorism, doing time, coming out and in the instance of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, then carrying out a brutal terrorist act,” he said.
“At home, reports of Australian terrorists and prison gangs using their time in jail to recruit and radicalise other inmates are equally disturbing.”
Under the plan, the power to indefinitely detain a terrorist would rest with state and territory Supreme Courts.
“Where people are a danger to society after they have served their time for conviction, as we do with sex and as we do with violent offenders … then they should be put into preventative detention,” Mr Tehan said.
He said he hoped the states and territories would agree to pass the necessary laws in their jurisdictions, after today’s talks.
“This is a gap in our current system, this is a gap which potentially presents a danger to the community’s safety,” he said.
Unlike the legislation Parliament recently passed to strip dual citizens of their Australian citizenship if they commit a terrorist act, the proposal would apply to any Australian citizen.
There are currently nine convicted terrorists in jail in New South Wales and four in Victoria.