Prime Minister Tony Abbott says Australia stands shoulder to shoulder with Canada in the wake of a second attack on a soldier, as security is reviewed.
Security is being reviewed in and around parliaments and Defence facilities across Australia in the wake of a second fatal attack on soldiers by lone-wolf terrorists in Canada.
A 32-year-old gunman who had reportedly been on a terrorism watchlist killed a soldier guarding an Ottawa war memorial before storming into the halls of parliament on Wednesday.
The attack came days after a 25-year-old Islamic extremist in Quebec rammed his car against two Canadian soldiers, killing one of them.
Canada and Australia have been mentioned in Islamic State propaganda material as targets and both countries have nationals who are supporting IS in Syria and Iraq and at home.
But no group has claimed responsibility for the two attacks.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who spoke with his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper after the attack, said Australia felt Canada’s “shock, pain and anger”.
“I have been at their parliament, I have been at their war memorial and I regard (Prime Minister) Stephen Harper as a friend and almost a brother,” he told parliament on Thursday.
“An attack on their parliament is an affront to this parliament too.”
Mr Abbott said Australia stood “shoulder to shoulder” with Canada “in defiance and resolution”.
Speaker Bronwyn Bishop opened Thursday’s parliament session with a statement outlining security arrangements, which had already been stepped up before the Canadian incident.
Mrs Bishop said the Australian parliament’s range of armed response, security and lockdown arrangements meant it would never need to barricade members and staff in the event of an attack as occurred in Canada.
Australian defence force chief Mark Binskin offered his condolences to his Canadian counterpart, General Tom Lawson.
“I understand their deaths have caused some anxiety for our own Defence members and their families,” he said in a Facebook message.
“Please be assured that Defence and other Australian security agencies are actively monitoring developments.”
Air Chief Marshal Binskin is working with state and federal police to monitor activity at and near Defence facilities in Australia.
Canada’s high commissioner Michael Small was in the chamber for Mr Abbott’s speech.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said all Australians were affected because the two nations shared so much.
State parliament houses are re-examining their security, but none has reported any specific threats.
Security at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra is under review.
If any adjustment was recommended by security agencies changes would be made immediately, memorial director Brendan Nelson said, adding there had been no specific threat.
Responding to questions about the G20 summit in Brisbane in November, Queensland police commissioner Ian Stewart said security preparations were well under way.
“We have certainly taken into consideration what may occur and we have planned for that, we have deployed resources for that, we have trained for that, and we have equipped our people for it,” he said.
ASIO has assessed lone-wolf terrorists as an “ongoing, pervasive and persistent” threat to Australia.