Fewer Australians feeling safe

Only one-in-four Australians feel very safe and rank terrorism-related incidents as minor threats to the country’s security, a new poll shows.

Sixty nine per cent say the emergence of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria will be a high risk to Australia’s security in the next 10 years, the 2015 Lowy Institute Poll found.

Only 24 per cent of respondents said they felt very safe, the lowest result since polling began in 2005, and 18 points down from the 42 per cent who felt very safe in 2010.

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Prime Minister Tony Abbott said his government was “absolutely serious” about protecting Australians.

“I want to give every single Australian this assurance: this government will do what is necessary to keep you safe,” he told reporters in Canberra.

That included toughening anti-terror laws, boosting resources to police and security agencies, or sending forces to the Middle East.

Labor frontbencher Andrew Leigh agreed there was a real concern amongst Australians about security.

“What has gone on in the Middle East over recent years is disturbing,” he told reporters in Canberra.

It was a reminder that both major parties should put aside political point-scoring, he said.

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