Newly designated Attorney-General Christian Porter warned that Western Australia is not immune from the threat of terrorism because all it would take is one radicalized person to carry out the heinous act. Porter described his advocacy versus terrorism as the “curse of the modern Attorney General”.
The new Attorney General believes 2018 will be his most challenging year as a public servant. Other than the portfolio against terrorism, Porter has to contend with the challenge of retaining his marginal seat of Pearce and on the personal side, is expanding his brood with a new baby.
Mr. Porter’s statement regarding the reality of the threat of terrorism in Western Australia came out of a perceived consensus that the state was not a target of extremist Islamic militants:
“The reality is we live in an age where people are easily radicalized; often online, where one person in a modestly planned venture involving a vehicle can do enormous damage.
“No one should think that any part of Australia is immune, and of course, terrorists consistently look for soft targets and large targets. So the idea that somehow this beautiful State is immune in my view is not a correct state of mind to be in.”
Porter concurred with his predecessor George Brandis who shared his experience that intimate knowledge of the extent of terror plotting in Australia will give him sleepless nights.
Porter also disclosed that over the last few years, his administration has prevented over a dozen terrorist attacks in Western Australia.
“You’re completely behind the velvet rope. You’re seeing a whole bunch of things that other people don’t get to see. And you see them so that they don’t have to experience the outcomes we’re trying to prevent.
“I completely see how terrorism in many ways is the curse of the modern Attorney General. Each era of being an Attorney – General has had its challenges but we live in an era of global terrorism and that’s penetrated into Australia.”
In his line of work, Porter will have to deal regularly with the Australian Security Intelligence Organization or ASIO.
No doubt he will be instructed by ASIO to sign off on warrants that are intended for more improved surveillance measures and other security operations focused on protecting Australian lives.
Porter is also expected to function in an oversight role within the newly organized home affairs super ministry.