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Budget 2008: National security to take a budget hit.



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Hon Christopher Pyne MP

Shadow Minister for Justice & Border Protection Shadow Minister Assisting the Shadow Minister for Immigration & Citizenship Federal Member for Sturt

429 Magill Road Parliament House

ST MORRIS SA 5068 CANBERRA ACT 2600

Media Release

National security to take a budget hit

In another example of Labor’s misplaced priorities, Home Affairs Minister Bob Debus has confirmed there will be a $24 million cut in the AFP Budget tonight in line with their so-called ‘efficiency dividend’.

“Any cuts to the operational Budget of our frontline National Security forces places Australia’s interests, and Australian lives at risk,” said Liberal Justice and Border Protection spokesman Christopher Pyne.

“Labor has never supported adequate resourcing for this crucially important Budget priority.

“Australia’s Federal Police never seem to get the credit they deserve for thwarting terrorist threats, breaking drug rings, or restoring law and order to many of our near neighbours. Now it seems that they are to cut back their operations so that Labor can spend $24 million elsewhere.

“In the election campaign, the Rudd Labor Government committed to recruit 500 new AFP sworn officers.

“If Labor think can meet their election commitment by announcing that hundreds of AFP officers will be recruited in four or five years time, they should know that the public will see through their tricky weasel words.

“Australia needs new AFP officers sooner rather than later. With its overseas and domestic operations already stretched - including by the Prime Minister’s February deployment of extra officers to East Timor - the need to provide extra resources to the AFP is clear.

“If Labor wants to be taken seriously on National Security, then tonight Wayne Swan must announce that Labor will deliver on its election commitment in full. We need to see AFP officers recruited this year, not in 2013, and they must be adequately

resourced to do their jobs effectively.

“Asking the AFP to do more with less is very dangerous politics indeed.”

Media Contact: Adam Howard 0400 414 833