PM calls on Aussie Muslims to join "team Australia"
PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has called on the Muslim community to join "team Australia" in the fight against home-grown extremists.
Mr Abbott met with Islamic community leaders in Sydney on Monday to discuss the government's sweeping new anti-terror powers aimed at stopping Australian militants fighting overseas.
He told Macquarie Radio listeners in Sydney the nation faced a serious threat from radicals who travel overseas to fight with terror groups in Syria and Iraq who had become "militarised and brutalised" because of the experience.
"Everyone has got to put this country, its interests, its values and its people first, and you do not migrate to this country unless you want to join our team," he said.
"Our country is comprised of good, decent people who want to put Australia and its people first.
"It is important that individual communities cannot be caricatured on the basis of a militant few rather than on the basis of what I take to be a sensible majority."
Mr Abbott said at the weekend he would introduce a range of new measures aimed at tackling home-grown terrorists to ensure they did 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 and would include stripping social security benefits paid to individuals who have had an adverse security assessment made against them.
Mr Abbott will also meet with Muslim community leaders in Melbourne later this week.