We must not be in the dark as threats emerge


There are mo­ments that shake coun­tries. They are so in­deli­ble you can re­mem­ber where you were when you heard of them. In my life­time, it was Septem­ber 11 and later Bali.

They ap­pear to come out of the blue, but they don’t. Those mo­ments were metic­u­lously planned by those who seek to do us harm.

Our po­lice and se­cu­rity ser­vices do a re­mark­able job given what they face.

Since Septem­ber 2014, our law en­force­ment and se­cu­rity agen­cies have un­der­taken 15 suc­cess­ful counter-ter­ror­ism dis­rup­tion op­er­a­tions in re­sponse to po­ten­tial at­tack plan­ning in Aus­tralia.

To their credit, 93 peo­ple have been charged dur­ing 41 counter-ter­ror­ism op­er­a­tions.

But we also have suf­fered heart­break. The Lindt cafe, Par- ra­matta and the Mel­bourne at­tacks all come to mind. Even now, our over­all threat level re­mains un­changed at “prob­a­ble”. This means, sadly, that there are groups and in­di­vid­u­als with the in­tent and the ca­pa­bil­ity to con­duct a ter­ror­ist at­tack on our soil.

That’s why our se­cu­rity ser­vices re­quire the strong­est hand to keep us safe.

We know that crim­i­nals and Is­lamic ex­trem­ists are us­ing en- crypted tech­nol­ogy such as What­sApp to plan their ac­tiv­i­ties and evade au­thor­i­ties. Ac­cord­ing to fed­eral agen­cies, 95 per cent of tar­gets are us­ing en­crypted tech­nol­ogy. State au­thor­i­ties say it is up to 98 per cent.

In the words of the Vic­to­rian Po­lice Chief Com­mis­sioner, the crim­i­nals “have gone dark”.

That’s why the de­ci­sion of La­bor and the Greens to ob­struct our vi­tal en­cryp­tion leg­is­la­tion as part of their po­lit­i­cal game play­ing is so shame­ful.

They think ob­struct­ing good gov­ern­ment helps them get “a win” on the nightly news by show­ing loud and noisy par­lia­men­tary cham­bers. In­stead, it’s weak­en­ing Aus­tralia’s ca­pac­ity to re­spond to crim­i­nal and ter­ror­ist threats.

Their de­sire to “in­crease the po­lit­i­cal tem­per­a­ture” is poi­son­ing their judg­ment.

Along­side its games with en­cryp­tion, La­bor is push­ing the in­de­pen­dents and cross­benchers to in­cre­men­tally dis­man­tle the gov­ern­ment’s suc­cess­ful bor­der pro­tec­tion poli­cies.

It wants to de­stroy the build­ing blocks of bor­der pro­tec­tion that keep Aus­tralians safe.

Last time La­bor dis­man­tled Coali­tion poli­cies on bor­ders, 50,000 peo­ple il­le­gally en­tered Aus­tralia on 800 boats and more than 1000 peo­ple died at sea.

De­ci­sions to re­move the bricks of off­shore pro­cess­ing, tem­po­rary pro­tec­tion visas and boat turn­backs will re­sult in our bor­ders be­com­ing por­ous again.

By con­trast, I will con­tinue to make the right de­ci­sions as your Prime Min­is­ter to keep Aus­tralia safe.

At the same time, we have got all chil­dren out of de­ten­tion and there are just 10 chil­dren now on Nauru.

La­bor, the Greens and the in­de­pen­dents are do­ing this for po­lit­i­cal rea­sons, and the re­sult will be hu­man tragedy.

The La­bor Party has shown that when it comes to na­tional se­cu­rity and bor­der pro­tec­tion, it will trade it all for pol­i­tics. Scott Mor­ri­son is Prime Min­is­ter of Aus­tralia.

La­bor wants to de­stroy the build­ing blocks of bor­der pro­tec­tion that keep Aus­tralians safe

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