According to Mr. Howard, ASIO now has greater funding that any time since the Cold War and has doubled in size, while $A872 million has been allocated to improving intelligence. Mr Howard called on private industry to continue spending on improvements in security, saying there was a cost everyone must share in the fight against terrorism. “There is a cost for all of us – there is a cost for you – involved in taking counter terrorism and security measures,” said Mr Howard. “Collectively we do pay a heavy price in economic terms but over…the price that we do pay…has to be put the…disruption and dislocation to our economy…that would occur if a terrorist attack took place in this country.

“It is a challenge to our society, it’s a challenge we haven’t had before – we must simultaneously not become obsessed with it but equally take all the precautions that are necessary.”