Australia ministry to target terrorism
CANBERRA — Australia will create a Home Affairs Ministry to boost anti-terrorism links between government agencies, in the nation’s biggest security shakeup in more than 40 years, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said.
To be led by current Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton, the portfolio will be based on the U.K.’s Home Office and have oversight of federal police, intelligence agencies and border forces, Turnbull told reporters Tuesday in Canberra.
“This is driven by operational logic,” Turnbull said. “You have a domestic security challenge which gets greater all the time.” The government will also create the Office of National Intelligence to coordinate efforts and boost cybersecurity, he said.
Turnbull said the U.K.’s Home Office, rather than the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, provided the template for the new ministry, which would be small enough to be nimble and would be consistent with arrangements made by other “Five Eyes” intelligence partners including New Zealand and Canada.
The new ministry, which will strip management of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization from the attorney general’s portfolio and federal police from the justice ministry, will need legislative changes to be implemented, he said.