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Combatting Terrorism

To protect Australians from the threat of terrorism, the Government has boosted funding for our law enforcement, intelligence and security agencies by $1.3 billion since August 2014.

This investment is improving our intelligence capability and strengthening our border security against terrorism, crime and other threats, originating both here and overseas.

To keep Australians safe, the Government has also established:

  • The National Disruption Group – bringing together Federal agencies and state and territory police to coordinate counter-terrorism disruption operations;
  • An AFP Online Targeting Team to identify perpetrators online and collect evidence;
  • Australian Border Force Counter-Terrorism Units at all eight Australian international airports and fast-tracked biometric screening; and
  • The Foreign Fighters Task Force which is using its unique coercive powers and wealth of criminal intelligence to uncover terrorist networks.

AUSTRAC is now using advanced data analytics to detect and act against terrorism financing risks.

The Government is increasing its investment in Countering Violent Extremism programs, to protect young people from the risk of online engagement with violent extremists.

We are also contributing to the global fight against terrorism, through Australia’s military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

The Coalition has also strengthened laws to help our agencies to monitor, investigate, arrest and prosecute home-grown violent extremists and returning foreign fighters. This includes:

  • The ability to arrest terrorism suspects on lower thresholds (several recent arrests to prevent terrorist attacks would not have been possible without this);
  • The suspension of passports at short notice where ASIO is concerned an individual represents a security risk;
  • The ability to cancel welfare payments on security grounds;
  • The retention of metadata for two years, which agencies say is essential to most counter-terrorism investigations;
  • The designation of declared areas, making it an offence to travel to certain areas in the conflict zone without a legitimate purpose; and
  • Legislation to ensure terrorists who are dual nationals can be stripped of their Australian citizenship.

We have overseen the introduction of the new National Terrorism Threat Advisory System (NTTAS), which replaces the National Terrorism Threat System and the Public Alert System, to better inform the public about the likelihood and nature of an act of terrorism occurring in Australia.

In addition, the Coalition Government is also working with the states and territories to introduce new preventative detention protocols.

Labor’s record

Labor cut over $700 million from the Customs and Border Protection Service budget.

Despite evidence of the growing terror threat, in six years Labor didn’t pass a single law to strengthen national security agencies.