Attorney General George Brandis and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister, Michael Keenan, said that Australia would soon get a five-tier terror threat alert system at a joint press conference on Thursday. Brandis said that the new system would alert the public of a potential terror attack.

"Our assessment of the level of the threat of terrorism faced by the Australian people is not changing today," Skynews quoted Senator Brandis telling reporters in Canberra on Thursday.

The five levels in the new National Terrorism Threat Advisory System are certain (red), expected (orange), probable (yellow), possible (blue) and not expected (green). The current threat level has been set to “probable” as the government deduced that the chances of a terror attack in Australia haven’t changed since 14th September last year. The old system that was introduced in 2003 included only four levels - extreme, high, medium and low. In the old system, the alert today would have been set at “high” level.

The threat levels are decided depending on assessments by the National Threat Assessment Centre, which is a part of Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO). The head of ASIO, Duncan Lewis, suggests the required changes. Whenever the government decides to introduce changes, it has to inform the public about it.

"It has served us well, but Australia is now facing the most significant ongoing threat from terrorism that we have seen in our nation's history and this is likely to persist for some time," Keenan said. "So the new system we are moving to allows us to provide more information to the Australian people about the nature of that."

Keenan said that a “probable” threat alert indicates that there could be individuals or groups within the community capable of carrying out a terror alert. This would require the public to exercise caution.

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