Aus­tralia cre­ates counter-terror su­per min­istry

Muscat Daily - - FRONT PAGE -

Syd­ney, Aus­tralia - Aus­tralia has cre­ated a su­per min­istry com­bin­ing its se­cu­rity agen­cies in­clud­ing the do­mes­tic spy ser­vice, bor­der force and na­tional po­lice, the coun­try’s prime min­is­ter said on Tues­day, call­ing the ‘his­toric change’ nec­es­sary to tackle ter­ror­ism.

The new Home Af­fairs port­fo­lio - which uses Bri­tain’s Home Of­fice as a tem­plate - will be run by Im­mi­gra­tion Min­is­ter Peter Dut­ton in a ma­jor shake-up of na­tional se­cu­rity ar­range­ments.

“I am an­nounc­ing the most sig­nif­i­cant re­form of Aus­tralia’s na­tional in­tel­li­gence and do­mes­tic se­cu­rity ar­range­ments and their over­sight in more than 40 years,” Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull said in Can­berra.

“We are tak­ing the best el­e­ments of our in­tel­li­gence and na­tional se­cu­rity com­mu­nity and mak­ing them bet­ter. As ter­ror­ists evolve their meth­ods, we have to evolve our re­sponses.”

An of­fice of na­tional in­tel­li­gence would be set up to help co- or­dina- tion be­tween the agen­cies, with the shake-up con­cen­trat­ing more power in the hands of Dut­ton, who has been hailed by con­ser­va­tives for halt­ing the ar­rival of asy­lum-seeker boats from Asia.

Can­berra lifted the terror threat alert level in Septem­ber 2014 and in­tro­duced new na­tional se­cu­rity laws amid con­cerns of at­tacks by in­di­vid­u­als in­spired by or­gan­i­sa­tions such as Is­lamic State.

Mal­colm Turn­bull

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