The iconic building features on the front of Inspire Magazine, an online publication that includes instructions on how to make bombs.
The magazine is published by associates of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which has been described as one of the most active sections of the terror network.
Despite this, Mr McClelland says the national terrorism alert level remains unchanged at medium.
"I have been advised this publication does not represent any change to the extent of the terrorist threat within Australia," Mr McClelland said in a statement on Thursday.
"And I am advised it has not been accompanied by any specific threat in Australia or to Australian citizens."
The terrorism alert level, which has been in place since 2001, still means a terrorist attack could occur and Mr McClelland said the photograph was a reminder of the terrorist threat Australia faced.
"This publication does serve as a reminder of the need for constant vigilance in countering terrorist threats," he said.
"It's clear the material is intended to provoke a strong emotive reaction."
Given the magazine's "intent to incite violence", Mr McClelland said the government was taking steps to reduce its exposure, including writing to the Australian Communications and Media Authority to remove links to the magazine.
"ASIO has also made a request to relevant Australian providers to restrict access to sites which link to this material."
However, he acknowledged that in the age of the internet, removing all access was extremely difficult.
"In the modern age of global electronic communications, the reality is this material will emerge on overseas sites," he said.
NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Peter Dein, the state's counter-terrorism commander, said police were "trying to work out what it really means".
"It probably represents an icon in the Western world which is an appropriate target for terrorists," he told ABC radio.
"There's no text or commentary in the magazine that's either touched on the Opera House or Sydney or Australia for that matter, except for the full-page photograph depicting the Opera House."
Former federal police terrorism analyst Leah Farrall told Fairfax newspapers the photograph was a cause for concern but was also a product of "publicity-hungry jihadis".
"In the end, all we know is that a photograph of one of our most prominent landmarks has turned up on a page about bomb-making in a magazine that is encouraging people to take action on their own and blow things up in Western countries," Ms Farrall said.
"At a really simple level that will be cause for concern, but it will be tempered with the recognition that these are the most publicity-hungry jihadis we have come across so far."
Opposition legal affairs spokesman George Brandis told AAP Australia cannot be complacent about the potential threat of terrorism.
"We cannot be complacent," he said.
"We will always be at risk.
"The problem of this will not go away with the passage of time and anyone who thinks that is a fool."
Anyone with any information about any terrorist activity or threat should call the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400.