Terror parole and bail laws toughened up ahead of COAG meeting

There will be a strong presumption against granting bail or parole to anyone connected with terror offences under a deal struck between commonwealth and state governments.


Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull brokered a deal on the hardline reforms ahead of a meeting with state and territory premiers on Friday, where national security is set to dominate talks.

“We must be faster, smarter, more agile, more responsive than those who seek to do us harm,” he told reporters in Hobart.

“If you have someone who has terrorist sympathies and who has a propensity to violence, every day they are not on the street is a good day.”

The national crackdown will extend to anyone deemed to support or have links to violent extremism or terrorism.

The agreement falls short of a proposal by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to have domestic spy agency ASIO and federal police to help state parole boards decide on releasing criminals who pose a terror threat.

Mr Turnbull said federal police and intelligence officers already fed information on convicted terrorists through to parole boards.

Related readingTake ideology out of climate, energy: PM

Malcolm Turnbull wants ideology and politics taken out of national energy policy and replaced with a strategy grounded in economics and engineering.

The focus had to be on a system that delivered affordable, reliable and secure electricity while meeting Australia’s carbon emissions reduction targets, the prime minister said.

The Council of Australian Governments will be presented with Chief Scientist Alan Finkel’s final report on the national energy system.

It’s understood he will recommend a “clean energy target” – rather than an emissions intensity scheme or a carbon price – to help ease pressure on power prices while cutting carbon emissions and ensuring the grid is reliable.

While Dr Finkel is not expected to recommend a specific figure for the target, he will argue the proposal would be enough to meet Australia’s Paris climate agreement commitments.

“The important objective we have is to take the ideology and politics out of this issue,” Mr Turnbull told reporters.

“As I have said for a long time now, my approach to energy policy … is grounded in economics and engineering, not in ideology, not in politics, not in partisanship.”

Host premier Will Hodgman will be pushing for his state to be the “nation’s renewable energy battery”, with a focus on wind farms.

Victorian leader Daniel Andrews says business and consumers are sick and tired of governments simply arguing endlessly about energy policy.

“Let’s get on and put them first,” he told reporters.

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Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will underline her state’s commitment to 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030 but will have a state task force examine and roll out the Finkel report recommendations.

She hopes the Finkel review brings an end to the climate wars in Australia and leaders reach common ground, noting Queensland was doing the heavy lifting by opening up its gas market.

“So every other state also needs to lift its game,” she said.