Tuesday, 22 October 2019
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for the Home Affairs. Will the minister outline to the House how the Morrison government's stable and certain approach to economic management helps guarantee the safety of Australians by providing our law enforcement agencies with the resources they need? Is the minister aware of any alternative policies?
I thank the honourable member for his question. This year we will put about $7 billion into the Home Affairs portfolio to support our agencies to help keep Australians safe. It is a very significant investment and it's a necessary one, but it's possible only because we've made the tough decisions over recent years to manage the budget well and to make sure we have the funding appropriate for the agencies. We have put into the 2019-20 budget $130 million for the whole-of-government drug strategy, $10 million to strengthen counter-fraud arrangements, $465 million for national security agencies' additional resourcing and $7 million for countering foreign interference. The $465 million investment is the largest single funding measure for the AFP's domestic policing capabilities in over a decade. What Australians get from us is certainty about the way in which we approach national security in this country. They know the Morrison government will make decisions that will always be in the best interests of the national security of our people, and we will continue to make sure that that is the case.
But opposite there was panic and mayhem when they were last in government. They spent $16 billion when they completely destroyed the border protection system in this country, and it meant that they ripped $128 million out of the Australian Federal Police, $30 million out of the Australian Crime Commission, $27 million from AUSTRAC and $735 million and 700 staff from the Australian Customs Service in a 25 per cent reduction in sea cargo screening and a 75 per cent reduction in air cargo screening. Labor always, when in government, makes the wrong decisions when it comes to national security. They took out $125 million from ASIO. You hear all the faux outrage from those opposite, but whenever it comes to a national security bill or whenever it comes to a decision about strengthening our laws to keep Australians safe, they always either oppose it or seek to water the bill down. That's the reality. Don't listen to this nonsense from the Labor Party that somehow they are on the same page as we are on border protection or that there is no difference between us when it comes to national security; the reality is that the Labor Party, when in government, always seeks to oppose the strengthening of national security legislation. They take money out of our agencies and, when in opposition, they do exactly the same. They oppose measures that we've put in place to keep Australians safe, and all Australians should be aware of it.