There is one word missing from your article: FEAR.
Fear is the major the driver of the mass demonstrations, outpourings and "outrage" that your article mentions.
Tragedies in Africa are distant for sure, but distance is not the issue; There is less FEAR of events more distant.
A research-supported fact (sorry I can't recall the article) is that the more right-wing one is, the more fearful one is. I suspect this factor may explain the eagerness of our current government to "protect us from danger". Capitalising on the innate fear within their support base.
Can't label myself right or left-wing, but I am not convinced that increased risk lies within some local or overseas group; I'm suspect the government's counter-terrorism efforts pose a greater risk to most Australians.