Our Plan to

Keep Communities Safe

Key Points

Keeping Australians safe is a top priority of the Morrison Government.

We have a clear plan to protect Australian families and their communities from criminals and the menace of illicit drugs, child exploitation and other crimes.

Crime today is more organised and sophisticated than ever before, but its effects continue to reach into the hearts of our communities.

That’s why, under the Coalition’s plan to keep our communities safe, we have been tackling organised criminals, targeting their gangs and going after their money.

We are deporting criminals who commit serious crimes and stopping others who try to come here to break the law.

We are also looking after local communities, using criminals’ ill-gotten gains to pay for practical measures, like CCTV, to prevent crime in your local community.

The Liberal Nationals Government can be trusted to keep communities safe because that’s what we’ve done for the last six years. And because the Morrison Government is committed to strong economic management we will have the means to invest in community safety and security.

We will continue to keep our communities safe by:

  • strengthening efforts to counter organised crime, illicit drugs and child exploitation by ensuring our laws are up to the task and our police and intelligence agencies have the resources to do the job;
  • enhancing measures to ensure non-citizens convicted of serious crimes have their visa cancelled and are removed from our communities;
  • targeting organised criminals peddling drugs and firearms with a commitment of new resources for the highly-successful National Anti-Gangs Squad;
  • helping families and communities affected by drug addiction with further investments in treatment options, including in regional areas;
  • working with local communities to keep our streets safe and address local crime with investments in CCTV and other security measures and paid for by the assets of criminals.

Our Record

We are entitled to feel safe in our homes, streets and communities.

Since the Coalition was first elected, our Government has been making the choices needed to ensure Australia is the best place in the world in which to live, work and raise a family.

We have been keeping our country strong so Australians can plan for the future with confidence.

We have repaired our borders, invested in our defence, deported violent criminals, and we have provided our security and intelligence agencies with the powers, resources and technology they need to keep Australians safe.

And by bringing together our law enforcement, immigration and security agencies into the one Home Affairs portfolio, we have strengthened our capabilities and coordination to keep Australians safe, and make it harder for criminals and others to threaten Australia and our way of life.

We have addressed the challenges to our security and safety beyond our shores, on our borders, in our communities and in our homes.

The Morrison Government is protecting Australians in a security environment few imagined 20 years ago.

Crime today is more organised and sophisticated than ever and it’s costing the nation an estimated $47 billion a year.

The personal cost is even greater for families affected by the scourge of illicit drugs or abhorrent child exploitation.

Since 2013, the Liberal Nationals Government has invested in our law enforcement agencies, including a funding commitment to the Australian Federal Police of more than $600 million in the 2019-20 Budget.

We are tackling the supply of ICE through international cooperation, intelligence sharing, better controls on precursor chemicals, and stronger law enforcement.

We have invested in the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program and the National Anti-Gangs Squad.

We have cancelled the visas of over 4,400 dangerous criminals, including murderers, rapists, drug dealers, and outlaw motorcycle gang members.

A further 28 dual nationals have had their Australian citizenship revoked, most for vile child sex offences.

And we have funded the initiation of the Australian Centre to Combat Child Exploitation.

There is no place in Australia for those who come here and do us harm.

Tackling crime isn’t just about tougher laws and penalties; it’s also about helping the victims of crime and crime prevention.

We have taken concrete steps to improve community safety, funding practical local crime prevention activities through our Safer Communities fund.

The Coalition launched the National Drug Strategy to help communities with treatment and prevention options for those affected by illicit drugs.

We have invested $450 million to help communities fight the impact of ICE, including funding for over 244 Local Drug Action Teams across Australia, with two-thirds operating outside of major cities. Local Drug Action Teams help communities to work together to prevent and minimise the harm caused by alcohol and drugs.

We promised to make Australian communities and neighbourhoods safer and we are delivering and we have a plan to do even more.

The safety and security of Australians is paramount.

Our Plan

Protecting our communities from crime
  • More resources, tougher laws

Australian communities are being targeted by organised crime groups peddling drugs, defrauding individuals and small business, or conducting sickening acts of child abuse and other crimes. These criminals are sophisticated, using technology, including encryption, to conduct their activities in secret and launder their profits.

A re-elected Morrison Government will give our law enforcement agencies the funding and laws they need to tackle this threat, as we did in the 2019-20 Budget.

We have already changed the law to make it more difficult for criminals to hide from law enforcement using encrypted messaging apps. We will fund the AFP’s development and modernisation of enhanced technical capabilities to catch criminals in the act.

Through the Government’s financial intelligence agency, AUSTRAC, we will strengthen partnerships with the financial sector to find and seize illicit funds. We will also strengthen Commonwealth fraud investigations capability.

Criminals will face tougher penalties under a re-elected Morrison Government. We have already sought parliament’s support for mandatory minimum sentences for serious child sex offences; and for firearms trafficking offences.We will increase maximum penalties for a range of crimes, including child sex offences.

  • Deporting foreign criminals

We believe there’s no place in Australia for people who come here and break our laws or harm our community.

That’s why we will continue to cancel the visas of dangerous foreign criminals.

We have already cancelled the visas of over 4,400 dangerous criminals, including 200 Outlaw Motor Cycle Gang members and revoked the Australian citizenship of 28 dual national criminals.

Last year alone, over 800 criminals had their visas cancelled, including: 16 for murder; 7 for manslaughter; 55 for domestic violence; 58 for armed robbery; 92 child sex offenders and 135 for assault.

We will continue to revoke the visas of convicted child sex offenders – having already cancelled the visas of more than 300 child sex offenders and stopped hundreds more at the border.

And we will ensure child sex offenders are prevented from travelling overseas under laws we proposed that passed through the Parliament.

  • Fighting drug crime

Illicit drugs, especially ICE, are an enduring scourge in many Australian communities. That’s why the Coalition introduced the National Drugs Strategy to stop drug peddlers and help those caught in the vice of addiction.

Criminal gangs traffic illicit drugs and firearms without shame or care for victims. A re-elected Morrison Government will extend the National Anti-Gangs Squad to combat organised criminals, including bikie and non-traditional emerging gangs, with a $90.6 million investment.

Since we established the Squad in 2014, operations have led to the arrest of more than 1270 offenders, the laying of more than 4,000 charges and the seizure of almost 6,000 illegal firearms and firearms parts, and more than 2.5 tonnes of illicit drugs and precursors.

The Coalition will continue the highly successful effort to keep illegal guns off our streets. This will include extending the firearms operations of the National Forensics Rapid Lab, which is helping to disrupt and dismantle firearms trafficking networks.

Supporting individuals and families dealing with addiction

A re-elected Morrison Government will be tough on drug criminals, but will help individuals and families trying to deal with addiction and substance abuse.

As part of the Morrison Government broader National Drugs Strategy we are investing over $720 million over four years from 2018-19 in specific health initiatives to reduce the impact of drug and alcohol misuse including through treatment, prevention and research.

We are providing $450 million to help communities fight the impact of ICE through the National Ice Action Strategy. This has enabled us to fund 244 Local Drug Action Teams and deliver an addition 471 local drug and alcohol services since 2016 based on community need. We have also listed 15 additional items on Medicare for Addiction Medical Specialists to make it easier for people to get the professional assistance they need to break the ICE habit.

We will also support local communities and families with over 9,400 local sports clubs to expand the national Good Sports program to help them prevent and manage illicit drug issues, such as ICE addiction.

Funding of $4.3 million will also provide local support for families and communities struggling with the impacts of illicit drug misuse, including ICE, through local family drug support services.

The Government is also building on its efforts to reduce prescription opioid overuse and abuse. The Rural Health Outreach Fund is being expanded to give people better access to pain management specialist services and train providers to improve prescribing habits.

To help prevent deaths associated with opioid addiction and abuse, the Morrison Government will extend funding for a pilot take-home naloxone program for people at risk of overdoses on opioids and other prescription and illicit drugs. We are providing an additional $2.8 million to extend the take home naloxone pilot to Western Australia, on top of the $7.2 million two year pilot take-home naloxone program announced in the Budget in New South Wales and South Australia. Naloxone is a drug that can temporarily reverse opioid overdose. The take-home naloxone pilot aims to reduce barriers currently preventing greater uptake of naloxone amongst people at risk of, or likely to witness, an overdose.

We are also investing significantly in and partnering with local programs across Australia through the Community Health and Hospitals Program, including:

  • $6.5 million for the Choices program in Western Australia to expand access to support for vulnerable and disadvantaged people who have frequent contact with both hospital emergency departments and magistrates courts, and who may have issues with substance abuse. The program links these individuals, who would previously be discharged to their own residence, with place-based community service providers. The Choices program will be expanded to the Joondalup Health Campus, St John of God Midland Public Hospital, Armadale Health Service and Peel Health Campus.
  • $3 million to develop a residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility in Dubbo NSW.
  • $3 million for new drug and alcohol services through the Limestone Coast in South Australia.
  • $5.9 million for the Salvation Army to build a 10 bed detox facility in Townsville and fund an additional eight residential rehab beds.
  • $9 million to establish a new drug and alcohol withdrawal and detox services in Cairns.

The National Alcohol and Other Drugs Hotline will provide the community with local information, support and services and maintain our ICE online community toolkit – Cracks in the ICE.

We are also investing significantly to support the mental health of individuals and families dealing with addiction and abuse.

The Morrison Government is prioritising support for mental health services with overall funding exceeding $4.8 billion per year. We will deliver a $375 million expansion of headspace services and new residential centres for treating eating disorders. We will trial eight new adult mental health centres as an alternative to Emergency Departments.

We are determined to reduce the rate of suicide, especially among young Australians. We are tackling this national crisis through our $503 million Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.

We will deliver a $98.6 million mental health program in schools and a range of early intervention and prevention initiatives to provide young Australians with the tools and support they need to maintain the best possible mental health and wellbeing.

Helping women and families to prevent and reduce violence against women and children

The Liberal and Nationals Government is leading the development of the Fourth Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, with $328 million for prevention measures and frontline services. This brings the total invested by our Government to more than $840 million since 2013.

The National Plan aims to connect the important work being done by all Australian governments, community organisations and individuals to reduce violence so that we can work together to ensure each year, less women experience violence and more women and their children live safely.

We are delivering:

  • $68.3 million for prevention strategies to help eradicate domestic and family violence in our homes, workplaces, communities and clubs.
  • $78.4 million to provide safe places for people impacted by domestic and family violence.
  • $82.2 million to improve and build on frontline services to keep women and children safe.
  • $64.0 million for 1800RESPECT, the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service.
  • $35.0 million in support and prevention strategies for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

These measures build on our strong commitments in recent years to support women and children at risk of violence:

  • $101.2 million under the Women’s Safety Package to provide a safety net for women and children at high risk of experiencing violence.
  • $67 million under the Women’s Economic Security Package for measures to support women experiencing family and domestic violence.
  • $1.5 billion per annum under the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement, including dedicated homelessness funding, which is to be matched by states and territories, and will have a focus on women and children affected by family and domestic violence.
  • Since 2013, over 7,046 women and children have been granted visas through the Women at Risk program, which supports women at risk of victimisation, harassment or serious abuse because of their gender. In 2017-18, the highest number of women and dependents were granted a woman at risk visa in our history (2,126 people in total). A re-elected Morrison Government will increase the Women at Risk Program as a proportion of the Offshore Component of our refugee intake from 14 per cent in 2017-18 to 20 per cent in 2019-20.
Helping keep local communities safe from crime

A re-elected Morrison Government will introduce new measures to prevent crime in our communities.

Our Government has expanded the fourth round of grants to $55 million and provided $35.1 million for a fifth round in the 2019-20 Budget.

Since 2016, we have provided over $130 million and 340 grants under the Safer Communities program for local councils and community organisations to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.

Safer Communities grants have put CCTV in crime hotspots, strengthened security for schools and supported other crime prevention efforts.

The grants are funded from the proceeds of crime (money and assets that have been seized from criminals) and we established a national unexplained wealth scheme to hit criminals even harder where it hurts most: their hip pockets.

A re-elected Morrison Government will increase round five funding by $20 million in response to community demand for crime prevention measures, such as fixed and mobile CCTV.

Initiatives like CCTV in crime hotspots help create safer communities in a number of ways. First, they help deter criminals and people undertaking anti-social behaviour if they know they are being monitored and that there is a higher chance of them being identified and prosecuted for their crimes. Second, they give greater confidence to members of the public using those community spaces, which in turn supports local businesses (such as restaurants and bars, where people feel more confident attending after hours if CCTV is present). Thirdly, it provides police with a useful investigative tool to identify other criminals who may have incidentally been in the area.

A re-elected Morrison Government will further other measures to prevent crime in our communities. We will, for example, introduce legislation to establish a National Public Register for Child Sex Offenders, ensuring parents and carers are better informed about the location of paedophiles in the community.

These initiatives and the Safer Communities investments are making our streets safer for all of us.

The Choice

By keeping the economy strong and returning the Budget to surplus, the Morrison Government is helping to make our communities safer.

After racking up $240 billion in deficits over six years when last in government, Labor does not have the track record to invest in keeping us safe.

Our Government has prioritised the safety of Australians by boosting funding for security agencies by over $3 billion since 2014.

We have passed unexplained wealth legislation to confiscate even more criminals’ assets and invest the proceeds of crime back into communities to fight crime and treat drug addiction.

Rather than invest in the protection of Australians, the former Labor Government simply raided the accounts of our law enforcement agencies to prop up its Budget bottom line.

Our Government believes in protecting Australian children from exploitation and heinous sexual offences.

By contrast, Labor oppose mandatory minimum sentences for child sex offenders, meaning predators may not even spend a day behind bars.

Labor wants to water down laws that are helping our law enforcement agencies detect paedophiles and terrorists now.

The Liberal National Government cancelled more visas and deported more criminals in 2018 than Labor did in six years of government.

We established the National Anti-Gangs Squad, which has seized almost 6,000 illegal firearms and firearms parts. Labor won’t even support legislation to increase penalties for the trafficking of illegal firearms.

To better protect Australian communities, the Liberal National Government created the highly-successful and coordinated portfolio of Home Affairs. Labor has not even appointed a Shadow Minister for Home Affairs.

Only the Morrison Government can be trusted to ensure the safety and security of Australians, their families and communities.

Cost

The Coalition Government will provide an additional $24.1 million to expand our programs to create Safer Communities.