As the world faces the challenges of pandemic and global unrest, our most important responsibility is to keep Australians safe and protect our way of life, freedom and values.
A STRONGER DEFENCE FORCE
To protect Australia’s future security and interests we are undertaking the biggest rebuild of our Navy, Army and Air Force since World War Two.
The Morrison Government is investing more than $575 billion in Australia’s Defence Force over this decade, including $270 billion in Australia’s defence capability that will support more than 100,000 jobs.
In 2020, we restored defence investment to 2% of GDP. Defence spending has now risen above 2% of GDP as we continue to deliver a stable funding path into the future.
This reverses the decline under Labor, when defence funding was gutted by $18 billion and fell to 1.56% of GDP – the lowest level since 1938.
To meet future security challenges, particularly in the Indo Pacific, Australia has entered into an enhanced security partnership with the United Kingdom and the United States – AUKUS.
AUKUS – A NEW SECURITY PARTNERSHIP
The United States and the United Kingdom are trusted partners and friends. The AUKUS partnership builds on our close ties, and will enable us to deepen cooperation on a range of emerging security matters.
AUKUS further strengthens Australia’s already significant network of international partnerships, including with ASEAN, our Pacific family, Five Eyes, the Quad, and other like-minded partners in the region.
The first major initiative under AUKUS is to support Australia’s acquisition of at least eight nuclear-powered submarines for the Royal Australian Navy.
This capability, which will be built in South Australia, will significantly enhance Australia’s ability to deter threats and to uphold stability and security in the Indo-Pacific.
Through AUKUS, we will also collaborate to enhance our joint capabilities, focusing initially on cyber security, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies and additional undersea capabilities.
DISRUPTING TERROR PLOTS
Since September 2014, Australia’s law enforcement agencies have disrupted 21 major terrorist attack plots.
148 people have been charged as a result of 75 counter‑terrorism related operations around Australia.
54 terrorist offenders are currently behind bars for committing a Commonwealth terrorism offence.
BOOSTING SECURITY AGENCIES
The Australian Government has passed 27 tranches of national security legislation. These are helping our intelligence and law enforcement agencies investigate, monitor, arrest and prosecute extremists.
The 2022 Budget delivers a $9.9 billion Resilience, Effects, Defence, Space, Intelligence, Cyber and Enablers Package.
This is the largest ever investment in Australia’s intelligence and cyber capabilities, doubling the size of the Australian Signals Directorate and creating 1,900 new jobs over the next decade - helping to keep Australians safe and secure from domestic and foreign threats.
CANCELLING CITIZENSHIP FOR TERRORIST CONDUCT
The Liberal and Nationals Government has passed legislation to revoke the citizenship of any dual-national who engages in terrorism.
This includes those who: engage in terrorism related conduct; fight for a declared terrorist organisation outside Australia, or are sentenced to at least 3 years for specified terrorism offences.
22 people have lost their Australian citizenship through terrorism-related actions.
Since 2013-14, the Government has allocated more than $130 million to Countering Violent Extremism programs.
There’s no place in Australia for people who come here and harm Australians.
We have increased the Minister’s power to cancel visas for non-citizens convicted of a serious crime. This has resulted in a 12-fold increase in visa cancellations.
Between January 2014 and March 2022, the Government cancelled or refused the visas of over 10,400 dangerous criminals.
This includes at least 219 for murder; 485 for rape or sexual assault; 807 for child sex offenders; 512 for armed robbery; and 1,756 for drug offences.
Foreign criminals in immigration detention should not receive free rent, food and medical treatment before they are removed from Australia. A re-elected Coalition Government will pass new laws to ensure foreign criminals face the cost of their own immigration detention.
TACKLING FOREIGN INTERFERENCE
We have strengthened Australia’s capacity to defend against foreign interference.
Legislation was passed in 2018 which:
- criminalises covert and deceptive activities of foreign actors;
- requires people to register if they engage in lobbying on behalf of a foreign principal;
- creates a Register of Critical Infrastructure Assets.
Australia’s Foreign Relations Bill gives the Australian Government the power to veto agreements with foreign countries struck by state and local governments, as well as universities.
Under Labor, over 50,000 people arrived on over 800 illegal boats. The cost of Labor losing control of our borders is $17 billion and counting.
Our effective policies, first enacted by Scott Morrison as Immigration Minister, include:
- offshore processing;
- Temporary Protection Visas (which deny people smugglers a product to sell);
- boat turn-backs when it is safe to do so.
Stopping the boats has enabled the Government to close 19 detention centres and remove all children from detention.
Cyber crime cost Australians more than $33 billion in 2020-21.
The Morrison Government’s $1.7 billion cyber-security plan represents our largest ever commitment to keeping Australians safe and secure online.
FIGHTING CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
To protect children, the Government has cancelled the visas of 807 child sex offenders since 2014. We have stopped hundreds more at the border.
In June 2020, new laws increased maximum penalties (including up to life imprisonment) and introduced mandatory minimum sentences for serious and repeat child sex offenders.
We passed Carly’s Law, making it a crime for an adult to use a carriage service for causing harm to, or preparing for or engaging in or procuring sexual activity with, a minor.
We are taking steps to establish a National Public Register of Child Sex Offenders.
TACKLING ILLEGAL DRUGS
The Government is working to stop drugs at their source.
Between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2021, the Australian Federal Police stopped over 49 tonnes of illegal drugs from reaching Australian streets. This included: over five tonnes of methamphetamine; over five tonnes of cocaine; and nearly one tonne of heroin.
The Liberal and Nationals Government has sent drug offenders packing. Between December 2014 and February 2022, we have cancelled or refused the visas of 1,756 people for drug offences.
NATIONAL ANTI-GANGS SQUADS
In 2014, the Coalition Government established National Anti-Gangs Squads, to detect, deter and disrupt the activities of outlaw motorcycle gangs.
Since then, operations have led to the arrest of more than 1,480 offenders and the seizure of over 6,100 illicit firearms and firearms parts and over 2.5 tonnes of illicit drugs and precursors.
In 2022, we funded new Australian Federal Police Organised Crime Strike Teams to keep Australians safe from serious and organised crime, and keep weapons and drugs off our streets.
Two teams will be established, with one primarily on the Gold Coast targeting transnational, serious and organised crime on the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Sydney. A second will target crime operating out of Melbourne, Adelaide, Darwin and Perth.
STOPPING THE TRAFFICKING OF ILLEGAL FIREARMS
Our Government passed legislation to double the maximum penalty and provide mandatory minimum five year sentences for the trafficking of illegal firearms.
After years of opposing it, Labor backflipped in the Parliament, but has not committed to retaining these laws in the future.
KEEPING AUSTRALIANS SAFE ONLINE
The Coalition has stood up to the big social media companies and made Australia a world-leader in creating a safer online environment for kids, women and families.
In 2015, the Coalition established the world’s first eSafety Commissioner to protect children from cyber-bullying and harmful content.
To date, eSafety has helped with around 4,000 complaints about serious cyber-bullying of children and young people, 9,000 instances of image-based abuse and over 70,000 items of illegal and restricted content, including child sexual abuse material.
The Government has delivered on its 2019 election commitment of a new Online Safety Act, which has further strengthened protections against cyber bullying, imposed tough new penalties on social media companies and perpetrators, and enacted the world’s first scheme to take-down serious cyber-abuse of adults.
We also introduced new laws into the Parliament to hold social media companies more accountable for anonymous trolls online. The laws have been stalled by Labor, which refuses to stand up to the tech giants and back Australian families.
We will invest $23 million to improve the capability of schools, teachers and students to deal with cyberbullying and other eSafety issues. We will require tech companies to install stronger parental controls on smartphones and tablet devices that are easier to locate and activate (particularly when first setting up a device) and harder for kids to deactivate or bypass.
USING PROCEEDS OF CRIME TO FIGHT CRIME
We established a national unexplained wealth scheme to get criminals where it hurts – their hip pockets.
This gives agencies greater powers to seize criminal assets and use the proceeds of crime for crime prevention and law enforcement measures, as well as drug addiction treatment and diversionary measures.
By contrast, Labor previously used money in the Confiscated Assets Account to boost its Budget bottom line.
HELPING LOCAL COMMUNITIES FIGHT CRIME
In the past 6 years, the Safer Communities Fund has provided over 600 grants to schools and community organisations to deliver youth engagement projects and provide security infrastructure.
Safer Communities funding is helping local communities address crime hotspots and anti-social behaviour through CCTV cameras, lighting and other activities.
Information current as at May 2022