All the flags were there, but the first government report into the Sydney siege reveals that authorities did not consider gunman Man Haron Monis to be a high-priority threat before he walked into the Lindt Cafe last December.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has foreshadowed changing the balance between community protection and personal freedoms, following last December’s Sydney siege.
Mr Abbott and New South Wales Premier Mike Baird have jointly released the first report into the siege and have flagged more stringent visa, citizenship and bail controls, with Prime Minister Abbott saying that “plainly, the system failed”.
The report looked at Monis’ involvement with public agencies including immigration, ASIO, state and federal police services and the justice system over a period of many years.
Monis was on bail at the time of the Sydney attack for a string of charges, including sexual offences and abetting the murder of his ex-wife.
The review found that each of the agencies’ decisions were “reasonable” and that the people making those decisions did so based on all the available information.
But Mr Abbott said the community had been let down by the system which allowed Monis to remain at large, despite the serious criminal charges he was facing.
“Plainly, this monster should not have been in our community,” he said.
“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.”