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Budget 2009: $1.3 billion to combat people smuggling and strengthen Australia's national security.



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12 May 2009

$1.3 BILLION TO COMBAT PEOPLE SMUGGLING AND STRENGTHEN AUSTRALIA'S NATIONAL SECURITY

The 2009-10 Budget provides more than $1.3 billion over six years to strengthen Australia’s national security and border protection regime.

Protecting Australia’s national security and the integrity of our borders is the highest responsibility of the Australian Government.

Even in a global recession the Government must continue to make the increased investments needed to protect our borders and strengthen our national security.

This $1.3 billion border protection and national security investment will include:

• $654 million for a comprehensive, whole-of-government strategy to combat people smuggling and help address the problem of unauthorised boat arrivals. • $685 million to strengthen Australia’s national security framework including investments in airport security, counter-terrorism, policing and E-security.

$654 million investment to combat people smuggling

A global spike in people smuggling activity around the world, including in Australian waters, means we need more resources to deal with this global problem.

That is why the Government is funding a $654 million whole-of-government strategy to combat people smuggling and address the problem of unauthorised boat arrivals.

This strategy will include the largest surveillance and detection operation against people smuggling in Australian history.

The massive funding increase in this budget will ensure:

• $324 million funding to increase maritime patrol and surveillance, which will see an additional maritime surveillance craft in Australia’s northern waters and increased maritime surveillance time. • Almost $63 million funding increase for aerial surveillance which will mean two

additional surveillance aircraft. • Around $93 million to strengthen our engagement with our regional neighbours and international organisations.

• $13.6 million to strengthen our legal and prosecution capacity and enhance regional cooperation on people smuggling laws.

The Rudd Government has also established a dedicated Border Protection Committee of Cabinet which will be supported by the newly-established Border Protection Taskforce, to drive the Government’s response to the people smuggling threat.

$685 million to strengthen Australia’s national security

Strengthening Australia’s national security framework continues to be key focus for the Rudd Government in this year’s budget.

That is why the Government is delivering a $685 million funding boost in this year’s budget for national security focused programs.

This massive investment in national security to mitigate threats to Australians both at home and abroad:

• Around $53 million for airport security at major airports. • Close to $290 million to boost international counter-terrorism and counter proliferation and increase our national security engagement with key international partners.

• Almost $150 million for regional law enforcement and coordination measures, including enhancing the role of the AFP internationally.

Enhanced border protection and national security in a global recession

The Rudd Government is determined to make the investments needed to protect our borders and strengthen Australia’s national security.

The Government does not believe this commitment can or should be influenced by current economic conditions.

In particular there is clear evidence of a global spike in people smuggling activity, including increased people smuggling activity in Australian waters.

Global factors, particularly the deterioration of security and economic stability in many nations in and around our region are driving this spike in activity.

The Government is determined to ensure we respond effectively and decisively to this global spike in people smuggling and other emerging threats to Australia’s national security.

CANBERRA Prime Minister's Press Office 02 6277 7744