Dut­ton to head new ter­ror­ism port­fo­lio

Townsville Bulletin - - NATION - SHARRI MARKSON

I MMI G R A T I O N Mi n i s t e r Peter Dut­ton will be­come one of the Turn­bull Govern­ment’s most pow­er­ful play­ers as head of the new Home Af­fairs of­fice in the in­tel­li­gence and se­cu­rity com­mu­nity’s big­gest over­haul in more than 40 years.

In a move that helps se­cure his own prime min­is­ter­ship and ce­ments his right- wing cre­den­tials, Mr Turn­bull has el­e­vated his great­est lead­er­ship threat.

In do­ing so, he has had to weaken the stand­ing of At­tor­ney- Gen­eral Ge­orge Bran­dis and Jus­tice Min­is­ter Michael Keenan amid deputy leader Julie Bishop’s op­po­si­tion to the re­struc­ture.

The new leader of the Right in the Fed­eral Lib­eral Party, Mr Dut­ton’s far- reach­ing Home Af­fairs port­fo­lio en­com­passes im­mi­gra­tion, bor­der force, Aus­tralian Se­cu­rity In­tel­li­gence Or­gan­i­sa­tion, Aus­tralian Fed­eral Po­lice, the Aus­tralian Crim­i­nal In­tel­li­gence Com­mis­sion, AUSTRAC and the of­fice of trans­port se­cu­rity, with two min­is­ters re­port­ing to him.

A task­force will work out the lo­gis­tics of the re­struc­ture process, ex­pected to take about six months.

Mr Turn­bull said the evolv­ing and com­plex threats to Aus­tralia’s se­cu­rity re­quired bet­ter in­te­grated in­tel­li­gence and do­mes­tic se­cu­rity ar­range­ments.

“When it comes to our na­tion’s se­cu­rity, we must stay ahead of the threats against us,” he said.

Mr Dut­ton cred­ited Mr Turn­bull for hav­ing the “re­solve” to es­tab­lish the Home Af­fairs de­part­ment.

“For a long time prime min­is­ters have been talk­ing about the Home Af­fairs of­fice and Mal­colm Turn­bull has been able to land this,” he said.

“I don’t think any­one could rea­son­ably level a claim at this Govern­ment that we’re not con­ser­va­tive and do­ing ev­ery­thing within our pow­ers in terms of the threat posed to us by ter­ror­ism.”

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