It is the Australian Government’s most important responsibility – and our unrelenting focus – to do everything possible to keep Australians safe and to maintain our way of life, our values and our freedom.
Australians can be, and must be, reassured that our law-enforcement agencies, our intelligence services and our Defence Force are among the very best in the world.
DISRUPTING TERROR PLOTS
Since Australia’s terror threat level has been Probable from September 2014, Australia’s law enforcement agencies have disrupted 13 major terrorist attack plots in Australia (as at November 2017). These include: a plot to cause mass casualties by exploding devices near Melbourne’s Federation Square; a plot to detonate bombs at a Mother’s Day running event; and a plot to stab and shoot police and members of the public at ANZAC Day ceremonies.
A total of 77 people have been charged as a result of 33 counter-terrorism operations in Australia, and 40 people have been convicted of terrorism-related offences (as at November 2017).
BOOSTING OUR SECURITY AGENCIES
To keep our country safe and secure, the Government has increased funding of our law enforcement, intelligence and security agencies by $1.5 Billion .
This year, the Government provided the AFP with an additional $321.4 million in increased funding (over four years) – the largest funding boost in a decade.
This will fund 100 more intelligence experts, over 100 more tactical response and covert surveillance operators, and almost 100 forensic specialists to help fight against crime and terrorism.
This will help fast-track investigations and lock up criminals sooner, targeting areas of priority including terrorism, criminal gangs, drugs, organised crime, cybercrime, fraud and anti-corruption.
TOUGHER ANTI-TERROR LAWS
The Government has passed eight tranches of national security legislation to strengthen the ability of intelligence and law enforcement agencies to investigate, monitor, arrest and prosecute home-grown extremists and returning foreign fighters.
For example, the Government has strengthened our control order regime, allowing us to monitor and limit where terrorist suspects can go and with whom they can associate.
And the Government has given our law enforcement agencies the ability to arrest terrorism suspects on lower thresholds (several recent arrests to prevent terrorist attacks would not have been possible without this).
FIGHTING TERRORISTS ABROAD
The Government has given our ADF the power to target terrorists with lethal force.
As part of Operation Okra, around 680 ADF personnel have been involved in the fight against Islamic State, which has now lost more than 90 percent of the territory it once held in Iraq.
To combat terrorism in our region, ADF training teams are building the capacity of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to combat Islamic State aligned terrorists.
CANCELLING CITIZENSHIP FOR TERRORIST CONDUCT (DUAL NATIONALS)
The Coalition Government believes dual nationals who support terrorist activities forfeit their right to be an Australian.
This Government is keeping Australians safe from dual nationals that support terrorist activities, including foreign fighters who seek to return to Australia.
In 2015, the Government passed legislation to revoke citizenship of any dual-national who: engages in a terrorist act or other specified terrorism-related conduct; engages in hostile activity with a terrorist organisation overseas; or is convicted of a terrorist act or other terrorism-related offence.
In accordance with Australia's international law obligations, no-one can lose citizenship under this legislation unless they are a national of another country.
The Government has also invested more than $45 million over four years in programs to counter radicalisation and remove online terrorist propaganda.
CANCELLING VISAS OF CRIMINALS
The Coalition Government amended the Migration Act to increase the Minister’s power to cancel visas for non-citizens who are convicted of a crime with a sentence of 12 months or more, or who have been convicted of a sexual offence against a child.
This has resulted in a 12-fold increase in visa cancellations.
Since December 2014, the Government has cancelled the visas of over 3,000 dangerous criminals, including 61 murderers, 135 rapists, 260 child sex offenders and 170 criminal motorcycle gang members.
We have cancelled five times more visas of non-citizen criminals in the past two years than Labor did in their entire six years in Government.
CRACKING DOWN ON PAEDOPHILES
To crack down on child sex predators, the Coalition Government has passed Carly’s Law – which makes it a crime for an adult to use a carriage service to commit an act in preparation, or planning to cause harm to, or engage in or procure sexual activity with a minor. (It includes those who misrepresent their ages).
This law has already led to charges, including the high profile case involving a reporter from A Current Affair.
In a world first, the Government has banned registered sex offenders from travelling overseas or holding an Australian passport.
The Government has also introduced to Parliament tough new laws that represent the biggest crackdown on paedophiles in a generation . Under these new laws, child sex offenders will spend longer in jail, be less likely to be granted bail and parole, face mandatory minimum sentences and be closely supervised following their release. These reforms target all aspects of the child sex offender cycle by strengthening measures at the time of charging, bail, sentencing and upon release.
STOPPING THE BOATS
Under Labor, over 50,000 illegal maritime arrivals arrived on over 800 boats. There were 1,200 deaths at sea.
Labor was forced to open 17 detention centres. Under Labor, there were 8,000 children in detention. Their border protection failures caused a budget blowout of over $11 billion.
The Coalition Government stopped the boats and has taken back control of our borders.
It has now been around three years (December 2014) since a successful people smuggling venture to Australia. There have been no deaths at sea. The Government has closed 17 detention centres and removed all children from detention.
TACKLING ILLEGAL DRUGS
The Government established Taskforce Blaze – which is the first ever joint agency taskforce of its kind in the world, and Australia remains the only country to have such crime-fighting cooperation with China in fighting the scourge of drug importation and trafficking.
Since its inception in November 2015, the Taskforce has proven to be one of the single most effective ways of stopping illicit drugs, including Ice, from hitting Australian streets – with more than 13 tonnes of drugs seized.
NATIONAL ANTI-GANGS SQUADS
The Government has set up National Anti-Gangs Squads across the country to combat organised crime thugs and bikie gangs, resulting in: the arrest of more than 1030 offenders; the laying of more than 3,170 charges; the seizure of more than 5,600 illegal guns and frames; and the seizure of hundreds of kilograms of illicit drugs.
STOPPING THE TRAFFICKING OF ILLEGAL FIREARMS
The Coalition Government has introduced legislation which doubles the maximum penalty and provides mandatory minimum sentences of five years’ imprisonment for the trafficking of illegal firearms.
Shamefully, the Labor Party is opposing this legislation in Parliament.
USING PROCEEDS OF CRIME TO FIGHT CRIME
The Government is ensuring the confiscated proceeds of crime are used to fight crime.
Labor by contrast previously used money in the Confiscated Assets Account to boost its Budget bottom line – and their policy is to do the same if they get back into office.
HELPING LOCAL COMMUNITIES FIGHT CRIME
The Government has delivered over $100 million in crime prevention projects, to assist local Councils and communities in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour.
This includes funding for CCTV and lighting, through our Safer Communities Fund and Safer Streets Program.
TACKLING THE SCOURGE OF ICE
The Coalition Government is tackling the supply of Ice through increased international cooperation, enhanced intelligence sharing, better controls of precursor chemicals and greater law enforcement efforts to prevent Ice reaching our shores.
The Australian Federal Police has seized more than 14 tonnes of methamphetamine in domestic operations since 2013.
Information current as at March 2018