PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has said he will introduce a range of new measures aimed at tackling home-grown terrorists to ensure they do not head overseas to commit atrocities in war-torn counties on the public purse.
The new measures form part of a $630 million boost to security agencies aimed at dealing with the increasing threat posed by people coming back to Australia that have been radicalised and brutalised by service with various terrorist groups in the Middle East.
Mr Abbott said on Sunday the government, as part of the new measures, would look at ways of stripping social security benefits paid to individuals who have had an adverse security assessment made against them.
His comments come on the back of revelations an Australian man who had become notorious for his bloodthirsty work as part of his activities with terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq had been on a social security payment.
"If there is one Australian overseas engaged with a terrorist organisation on social security that is one too many," Mr Abbott said.
"These new measures will ensure Australian taxpayers are not financing people known to be members of, or working with, terrorist organisations.
"Australians travelling to Syria, Iraq, and other conflict zones to engage in, or support, terrorist activities are committing criminal offences."
Mr Abbott said currently only those people who do not meet their obligations can have their welfare payments suspended or cancelled.
He said the new legislation would enable the Department of Human Services to cancel a person's welfare payment if it received advice that a person had been assessed as a serious threat to Australia's national security.
"Now, this is a new power that will be used with discretion but nevertheless we do believe that particularly for people who are heading overseas there should be the ability to remove social security benefits from them," he said.
"The last thing we want is terrorism tourism on the taxpayer and there will be no terrorism tourism on the taxpayer as a result of these measures that we will be putting before the parliament soon."