Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

Bishop cancels 50 passports on security grounds

THE risk of terrorism activity - now highest in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria - has prompted Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to cancel 50 passports on national security grounds.

Ms Bishop addressed reporters in Melbourne on Monday, after briefing the Victorian cabinet ahead of a federal Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

That meeting is expected to consider an official military role for Australia against Islamic State in Iraq, after Australia joined the United States-led coalition against IS in the region.

Ms Bishop said she had so far cancelled about 50 Australian passports on national security grounds, with cancellations mostly in Queensland, NSW and Victoria.

She said other states were "not facing the same immediate threats" as the nation's three most populous states.

The federal Cabinet will meet on Tuesday after the national security committee gathers to consider Australia's potential role in Iraq.

That meeting follows more than 600 Australian military personnel, fighter jets and military equipment already deployed to the United Arab Emirates in preparation for a direct intervention.

But Ms Bishop said that any Australian role would have to first be approved by the Iraqi Government.

While Prime Minister Tony Abbott has previously not ruled out a wider role against IS in Syria, he was reticent to commit, as Australia does not recognise the Assad regime.

Ms Bishop said on Monday involvement in US-led action in Syria a "different situation".


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