Oz Govt. to spend 69m dollars to reduce risk of terrorism attack

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Canberra (Australia), Feb.23 (ANI): A counter terrorism white paper released today by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd at the Parliament House here, has said that the Australian Government will spend 69 million dollars to reduce the risk of a terrorism attack.

According to news.com.au, the money will fund the introduction of biometric-based systems and reduce the risk of terrorists, criminals and other persons of concern entering Australia undetected.

In 10 countries, applicants for Australian visas will be photographed and finger printed in their home country before a visa is issued, the white paper adds.

A new counter terrorism control centre will be established that will improve the ability of agencies to operate against terrorism and to detect and prevent terrorists' threats.

"The Government remains committed to efforts that enhance integration and co-ordination of Australia's national security systems," the white paper says, adding the range of security challenges would be managed in a flexible and adaptive way".

"This approach serves our objective to take all necessary and practical measures to protect Australia and Australians at home and abroad."

Rudd said terrorism continued to pose a serious threat and a serious challenge to Australia's security.

"That threat is not diminishing. Security and intelligence agencies report that, while there have been counter-terrorism successes, they had been offset by the rise of groups affiliated with, or inspired by, al-Qaeda's message and methods," he said.

The long-awaited white paper has been leaked extensively and its release comes as the Government fends of Opposition calls for the resignation of embattled Environment Minister Peter Garrett over his handling of the now axed household insulation program. (ANI)

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