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Calls for new counter-terror squad, Dutton 'open to suggestions' after Bourke Street attack


NEWS: Days after a deadly attack in Melbourne's Bourke Street, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton says he is open to all suggestions on dealing with terrorism.

Australia should establish a British-style rapid response anti-terror unit with powers to track people on terrorist watch lists to prevent more extremist attacks, a counter-terrorism expert claims following Melbourne's Bourke Street stabbing.

Dr Allan Orr, who is writing a book about Sydney's Lindt Cafe siege, said such a specialist police taskforce would be armed with high powered weapons and have access to helicopters.

"In the UK these frontline officers don't deal with anything else but counter-terrorism, so they've got their playbook down to response times of two minutes," he told Fairfax Media on Monday.

The Islamic community is being called on to help Australian authorities prevent further terrorist attacks after Hassan Khalif Shire Ali, who was known to intelligence agencies, crashed a car full of gas cylinders in Melbourne's Bourke Street on Friday before fatally stabbing prominent Italian restaurateur Sisto Malaspina and injuring two others.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said police and other government agencies could not stop spontaneous acts of terror without tip-off or alerts from the public.

On Monday, he said he was open to anything that would help improve the way Australia dealt with terrorism.

You can read the full story in English here.