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Sounding the alarm: Terrorism threat communications with the Australian public

By Anthony Bergin and Clare Murphy

On 12 September last year, the national terrorism advisory was raised by Prime Minister Abbott from medium to high on the advice of outgoing ASIO Director-General, David Irvine. Since September 12, 2001, we’d been on a medium level alert.

This paper suggests five immediate changes which could help make our terrorism warning system better meet the public’s expectation that the government will provide useful information on terrorist threats and advice about required changes to behaviour.

In the campaign against homegrown violent extremism, the government’s responsibility isn't just to produce advisories; it’s to ensure that our terrorism alert system is understood by the community.