Police Minister Liza Harvey said the Terrorism (Extraordinary Powers) Act 2005 was due to expire at the end of the year and the new legislation will extend that to 2025.
“The Bill will not only extend the current police powers for another decade, but also strengthen police ability to target terrorist activity,” Mrs Harvey said.
The Minister said the changes would allow the Commissioner of Police to rapidly access necessary powers to respond in the event of a terrorism incident.
“As we have seen recently, Australia is not immune to home-grown terrorists and it is important our authorities can act quickly and effectively should we ever be targeted in WA,” she said.
Mrs Harvey said membership of a terrorist organisation and suspicion of advocating terrorism, would also be included in the Act as grounds to apply for a covert search warrant.
The changes to the Act meant police could also apply for covert search warrants on vehicles including cars, boats and planes. Currently covert warrants only applied to a specific property or location.
“This legislation will ensure WA Police is equipped with the most effective powers to prepare and respond to the growing threat of terrorism activity in Australia,” the Minister said.
Mrs Harvey said the Liberal National Government was committed to making communities safer through tough laws and providing police with the resources they needed to combat crime and anti-social behaviour.