A leading intelligence analyst said on Monday that Australian intelligence and security officials are concerned that future terror plots may not be halted in time.
Ross Babbage, a former senior defense official, said the agencies involved in last week's counter-terrorism raids in and around Melbourne had done an excellent job.
However, there is "deep unease" amongst intelligence and security officials that there might be a future set of circumstances where something could fall between the cracks, Babbage said.
"That is, we can't be absolutely certain that in every situation we are going to join the dots and we are going to catch these guys early," he told Australian Broadcasting Corporation Radio.
Intelligence officials believe present structures make it difficult to deal effectively with emerging threats.
For instance, cyber attacks against financial institutions are not the sort of threat the agencies have been structured to counter, Babbage said.
Australia's intelligence structures date from 30 years ago during a time well before international terrorism, global organized crime and cyber crime.
The culture of the intelligence community has been to protect information within agencies and only share it when absolutely necessary.