TROOPS manning Australian defence bases are legally unable to defend themselves if attacked by terrorists and would have to ring 000 for police help.
The Australian/Mark Dodd/Hat Tip Mullah
A security review is under way to “clarify the status” of defence force personnel in the event of an attack on a military facility in the country, a spokesman for Defence Minister John Faulkner said yesterday.
But at the moment it does not give defence force personnel the right to mount an armed response if attacked, the spokesman said in response to questions from The Australian.
“Last year, the Prime Minister ordered a comprehensive review into base security, the recommendations of which are now being implemented.”
The Rudd-ordered review followed foiled plans by Islamic militants to allegedly attack Holsworthy army base in Sydney.
Last August, four Melbourne men – alleged Islamic extremists – were arrested and charged with planning an attack on the huge defence facility in southwest Sydney.
The foiled plot is understood to have involved an attack through the base main entrance by the terrorists armed with automatic weapons.
As a result, Chief of the Australian Defence Force, Angus Houston, asked for clarification on the legal status for Defence personnel to mount an armed response.
The ADF’s chief security officer, Frank Roberts, is quoted in the latest edition of the Army newspaper as saying Air Chief Marshal Houston had expressed concern that current laws could find defence force personnel facing legal action if they used force to defend themselves.