House debates

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Questions without Notice

Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security

2:42 pm

Photo of Clare O'NeilClare O'Neil (Hotham, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Justice) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security. I refer to the principle of cabinet solidarity, outlined in the Cabinet Handbook, which applies to all ministers. Does the minister retain enough confidence in the Prime Minister, his government and its policies to remain as the minister?

2:43 pm

Photo of Angus TaylorAngus Taylor (Hume, Liberal Party, Minister for Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for her question and the answer is yes, I do. The first priority of this government and this Prime Minister is to keep all Australians safe and secure, and I strongly support that priority. Since 2013 this government has provided unprecedented funding and support, in legislation and money, for our law enforcement agencies.

Mr Khalil interjecting

Photo of Angus TaylorAngus Taylor (Hume, Liberal Party, Minister for Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity) Share this | | Hansard source

We have invested $106 million into our National Anti-Gang Squad. We know that gangs have been running rampant in parts of Australia, including the Labor state of Victoria.

Mr Khalil interjecting

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The member for Wills will leave under 94(a)

The member for Wills then left the chamber.

Photo of Angus TaylorAngus Taylor (Hume, Liberal Party, Minister for Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity) Share this | | Hansard source

We have established Taskforce Blaze. Taskforce Blaze intercepted 19.7 tonnes of narcotics before it got to our borders. That quantity of narcotics would wreak absolute havoc in our communities, in our suburbs and on our streets. I think everyone, on both sides of the House, should be enormously appreciative of the strong work that is being done by our law enforcement agencies to intercept those quantities of narcotics before getting into Australia. We have committed $70 million to establish the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation—I'm sure all members of this parliament can support a government that spends $70 million on preventing these heinous offences—and we've announced approximately $120 million for the Safer Communities Fund and the Safer Streets Program.

There is an alternative. We saw Labor raid the accounts of our law enforcement agencies when they were in government. When they had a faltering budget, they raided the accounts of our law enforcement agencies in this country: $128 million from the Australian Federal Police, and $735 million and 700 people from Customs. Labor is also opposing our legislation to introduce mandatory minimum sentencing for firearms trafficking and the worst child sex offenders. You can rely on this side of the House, on this government, to keep Australians safe and secure.