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University of New South Wales Faculty of Law Research Series

Faculty of Law, UNSW
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Michaelsen, Christopher --- "Terrorism in Australia: An Inflated Threat" [2010] UNSWLRS 38

Last Updated: 11 September 2010

Terrorism in Australia: An Inflated Threat

Christopher Michaelsen, University of New South Wales

This paper is available for download at


This article was published in the Security Challenges, Vol. 6, No. 2 (Winter 2010), pp. 19-25.


This comment questions the assertion made by the Australian government’s 2010 White Paper on Counter-Terrorism that the terrorist threat has become a “persistent and permanent feature of Australia’s security environment” and that an attack “could occur at any time.” It demonstrates that in fact the chances of getting killed in a terrorist attack in Australia are close to zero. As a consequence the comment argues that a comprehensive and facts-based review and reform of Australia’s approach to counter-terrorism is urgently needed. Any such process needs to be based on the realisation that the risk of terrorism in Australia is insignificant.

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