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National Border Targeting Centre launched

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Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

Scott Morrison

National Border Targeting Centre launched

Monday, 14 July 2014

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the Hon Scott Morrison, today opened the National Border Targeting Centre (NBTC), a 24/7 operations centre, bringing together nine border, law enforcement, national intelligence and regulatory partner agencies to analyse and target high-risk passengers and cargo within the Strategic Border Command.

Minister Morrison said the NBTC—which recently came into operational effect on 1 July as part of border protection reforms—will boost national security and law enforcement agencies' capability to generate actionable intelligence to support highly trained officers on the ground to physically detect and stop threats from entering Australia.

'The NBTC will provide a national, holistic approach to combat serious and organised crime which is responsible for smuggling illegal drugs, guns, bio-security, national security and immigrations risks through cargo and traveller arrival points,' Minister Morrison said.

'It will support agencies to maintain vigilance at the border to manage the exponential growth in trade and travel; handle more complex cargo supply chains and passenger travel routes.

'The NBTC is a key component of Strategic Border Command, which was launched on 3 July, as a cornerstone of border protection reforms within the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.

'The Strategic Border Command is the border brain and nerve centre of our border protection operation.

'The Coalition Government has invested a further $256.6 million on intelligence and systems to support the NBTC's connectivity and security. Without this broader investment the $30 million provided to set up the NBTC would have made it little more than a shell operation.

'This funding is part of the more than $700 million being invested back into border protection through the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service and the establishment of the Australian Border Force, over the next six years, reversing the $700 million cuts to border protection under the previous government.

'Eighty-five per cent of all illegal firearm detections at the border are the result of intelligence developed by Australian and international security and law enforcement agencies. Intelligence is the key to seizing drugs and contraband at the border.

'The NBTC will be the thread that pulls agencies' data together providing agencies with a national operational picture showing all the moving parts, both legal and illegal activity, at the border,' Minister Morrison said.

The NBTC will use sophisticated analytical tools and data from nine agencies to better identify high risk passengers and cargo. The NBTC will provide that information to the operational areas who will determine an appropriate operational response.

The NBTC will also work collaboratively with regional partners and targeting centres in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and New Zealand to improve knowledge of criminal syndicates with international links and disrupt criminal activity ahead of the Australian border.

The centre is hosted within the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service's Strategic Border Command Headquarters in Canberra.