Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull wants a national agreement on how long terrorism suspects can be detained without charge.

To tighten security here, he’s also called for a central database of drivers license photos.

Bryce Heaton reports.


While he was checking out the latest and greatest in security technology this morning, the Prime Minister flagged a desire to bolster our anti-terror laws.

Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister: “And we need to have the sharpest minds, and they’re here I can assure you, but also the latest technologies, and the best tools.”

In New South Wales, police can detain and interrogate terror suspects without charge for up to 14 days.

In all other states and territories, it’s just seven days, and that should be increased according to one former British commando.

Tony Loughran, Former British Commando: “The 14 day turnaround is so important, in fact it should be extended more than that.”

But, getting the mix of national security and individual freedom right might be difficult.

Michael Keenan, Federal Justice Minister: “It’s a balancing act, we need to make sure police have the powers they need but of course we need but of course we need to do that in the bounds of the constitution.”

The Prime Minister is convinced his plans are watertight.

Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister: “This is absolutely consistent with ensuring that there is appropriate judicial oversight.”

He’ll also propose a national database of drivers license photos, and will put that to Premiers and Chief Ministers tomorrow.

Bryce Heaton, QUT News.