Abbott: The system failed to stop the Martin Place siege

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has claimed the system let the community down in allowing Man Haron Monis to walk into a Sydney café and unleash terror on the city, and has said "this monster" should not have been allowed into the country.

A joint Commonwealth and NSW Government review into last December's Martin Place siege has found government agencies, including judges and mental health workers, made "reasonable assessments" of Monis in the years leading up to the incident.

The review into the siege, where Australians Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson were killed, was released yesterday, just one day ahead of Mr Abbott's speech on national security.

It is expected this report will shape what Mr Abbott will say in his speech to the House of Representatives today.

The report found some modest changes were needed to alleviate the public security risks and outlined 17 recommendations, including reviewing immigration processes, allowing judges to take potential terrorism links into account when assessing bail, and stepping up on illegal firearms laws.

Chris Calcino

Mr Abbott said Australia needed to do more checks and have more scrutiny in the visa and citizenship process.

He said the system had let the community down.

"What's pretty obvious from this report is that at every stage this individual was given the benefit of the doubt and plainly the cumulative effect of the benefit of the doubt being given to him time and time again was he was able to wreak havoc on our community," Mr Abbott said.

"Plainly this monster should not have been in our community.

"He shouldn't have been allowed into the country, he shouldn't have been out on bail, he shouldn't have been with a gun and he shouldn't have become radicalised.

Mr Abbott said the report showed Monis was routinely assessed as not being a threat to himself or the community and that it would need to be assessed if Australian agencies are too lenient.

"We need to re-examine the system and ask ourselves at what stage do we change the tipping point from protection of individual to the safety of the community," he said.

NSW Premier Mike Baird said the governments needed to act on the review.

He believed the recommendation of providing terrorism link information in any bail decision should be taken further.

Topics:  editors picks man haron monis martin place sydney siege tony abbott

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