Super crime- fighting office on way
A CRIME- fighting super office focused on protecting Australians from terrorism, bikies and drugs will be created by the Turnbull Government and run by former cop- turned Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.
Malcolm Turnbull will ram through plans for a UK- style home affairs office through the seven- member National Security Committee ( NSC) ahead of a meeting with split Cabinet ministers today.
NSC was scheduled for late today but Mr Turnbull yesterday brought it forward to 9am.
The new model, guided by an independent review into the Australian intelligence community, sparks a stunning ascension for Mr Dutton, who was dumped from the powerful NSC in 2015 by Mr Turnbull after launching a coup against former prime minister Tony Abbott.
Mr Dutton was reinstated to NSC last year. Under the new model, Mr Dutton will run an umbrella- style department by sitting at the top to ensure domestic spy and law enforcement agencies better co- operate and co- ordinate intelligence gathering and operations.
His job will also include ramping up the Government’s national security wins, a position deemed crucial leading up to the next federal election. Spy agency Australian Security Intelligence Agency ( ASIO), the Australian Federal Police, Immigration and Border Protection, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and the Office of Transport Security will now be overseen by Mr Dutton.
The position of Justice Minister, now held by Michael Keenan, will sit under Mr Dutton, while the position of Attorney- General, now held by George Brandis, will sit separate to the super portfolio.
For the past 68 years, ASIO has reported to the Attorney- General, raising questions as to whether Senator Brandis will resign when the new model will start.
Defence will remain separate as will overseas spy agency, the Australian Secret Intelligence Service.