A new national travel restrictions bill will be introduced to the Australian parliament on Wednesday and the new legislation will target Australians who have a ‘reasonable fear’ that a terrorist attack is imminent.
The new legislation, which will come into effect on October 1, will prohibit Australians with a “well- founded fear” that they will be targeted by a terrorist or a “serious threat to the community” from travelling abroad for five years or more.
“Australians should not be denied entry into Australia or prevented from travelling to Australia on the basis of a fear of terrorism,” the new bill states.
“Australis should not have to travel to the United States to access health care, education or other services.”
The bill includes a section on foreign travel, which includes restrictions on travellers from: countries where Australians have been convicted of serious crimes, including terrorism offences; and countries where Australia has been designated a state sponsor of terrorism.
Australia’s foreign affairs minister has said she is “absolutely convinced” the new restrictions will stop Australians from going to war in Syria.
The government has also promised to strengthen its visa waiver regime to give greater certainty to those seeking to travel and study overseas.
The new measures come after a series of deadly attacks in Sydney and Melbourne in recent months.
ABC News reported last month that Australians were “particularly vulnerable” to attacks because they are the most likely to have relatives in the Middle East.
More than 500 Australians were killed and more than 3,000 injured in the terror attacks in the past week.
Australia’s National Security Council has previously warned the country was at risk from terrorism following the Paris attacks.