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20 December 2017

Today marks a milestone for Australia – the establishment of
the Home Affairs portfolio – the most significant reform of Australia’s
domestic security and law enforcement arrangements in decades.
It is an important move to protect Australia’s security and
prosperity at a time when nations face a growing number of challenges.

Australia’s security and law enforcement agencies are among
the best in the world. The Department of Home Affairs will draw them closer
together to counter evolving threats from terrorism, organised crime and the
sinister use of new technology.

Too often governments are forced to act in the midst of a
crisis or its immediate aftermath. Today the Turnbull Government is moving to
protect Australians and their interests in a security environment unimaginable
just years ago.

The Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton said the new
portfolio was an opportunity to leverage the very best of Australia’s
world-class law enforcement and operational agencies.

“The scale and complexity of our challenges are increasing;
exacerbated by the evolution of technology and the sophistication with which
criminals and terrorists operate,” Mr Dutton said.

 “For us to ensure continued successful responses, we require
coordination and cooperation across departments, agencies and strong central
policy support.

“This is what Home Affairs will do – it will enhance
cooperation and coordination on a more enduring basis into the future.”

“I look forward to working with Alan Tudge as Minister for
Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Angus Taylor as Minister for Law
Enforcement and Cyber Security and Alex Hawke as Assistant Minister for Home
Affairs to oversee this major reform,” Mr Dutton said.

The new Department of Home Affairs will have responsibility
for ensuring a nationally consistent approach to terrorism, cyber security,
organised and transnational crime, while securing the integrity of Australia’s
migration programmes and protecting our borders by managing the movement of
people and goods.
It will be established incrementally over the next six

The new Department of Home Affairs will combine the existing
Department of Immigration and Border Protection with elements of the existing
departments of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Attorney-General, Social Services
and Infrastructure and Regional Development.

Drawn under the portfolio will be the Australian Border
Force, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, Australian Federal Police
and the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre.

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO)
will become part of the Home Affairs portfolio after passage of legislation
early next year.

These agencies will remain operationally independent with
the Department providing strategic and policy leadership.

 The role of the Commonwealth Counter-Terrorism Coordinator
will continue under Home Affairs, ensuring a nationally consistent approach to
terrorism and close engagement between the Commonwealth, states and

The current Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Cyber
Security will become the National Cyber Security Advisor.

 For further information: Minister’s Office – 02 6277 7860 

Posted in: Media Releases
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