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Budget 2018: Dutton's mega department already under review



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THE HON SHAYNE NEUMANN MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND BORDER PROTECTION

MEMBER FOR BLAIR

DUTTON’S MEGA DEPARTMENT ALREADY UNDER REVIEW

Despite the fact the Department of Home Affairs is less than five months old, Malcolm Turnbull is now spending $7 million to review Peter Dutton’s power grab.

The “strategic review” of Dutton’s mega Department announced in the Budget is particularly telling given there was no review undertaken that recommended establishment of the Home Affairs portfolio in the first place. This multi-million dollar review follows a litany of embarrassments for Turnbull in the short time since Dutton took the reins, including political infighting interfering with national security policy, highly sensitive security documents being leaked, departmental jobs outsourced to multinational companies, and the termination of the Australian Border Force Commissioner.

At the same time as handing out $80 billion tax handout to the banks and big business, Turnbull has cut $250 million in administration costs from Dutton’s Department in the Budget.

In another absurdity, the Department formerly known as Immigration and Border Protection, which has now responsibility for cyber security policy and coordination across government, has no specific funding or explicit priority in this year’s Budget to ensure the cyber resilience of Home Affairs - despite failing to meet mandated cyber security standards since 2014. In a time when the threats from cyber-attack are only increasing, it is beyond belief that Turnbull tolerates this monumental level of incompetence displayed by Dutton and his departmental Secretary on a critical national security issue.

The Turnbull Government has been locked in an ongoing dispute with thousands of immigration and border protection employees over pay and conditions for over four years - with frontline departmental workers suffering real wage cuts at the hands of the

conservatives. At the same time internal staff surveys have shown ABF staff have a deep-set dissatisfaction with senior management.

Labor’s fundamental concern is to ensure the safety and security of the Australian community.

Australia’s security and intelligence agencies are among the best in the world and any additional bureaucratic overlay should not hamper the effectiveness of our security agencies.

Peter Dutton is a tick-and-flick Minister and his unprecedented powers over Australia’s domestic security agencies have been put on notice by Malcolm Turnbull.

WEDNESDAY, 9 MAY 2018

MEDIA CONTACT: TIMOTHY DUNLOP 0428 043 110

Authorised by Noah Carroll ALP Canberra