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Budget 2006: Budget funds enhanced resourcing for ASIO.



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ATTORNEY-GENERAL THE HON PHILIP RUDDOCK MP

NEWS RELEASE

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600  Telephone (02) 6277 7300  Fax (02) 6273 4102 www.ag.gov.au/ag

9 May 2006

BUDGET FUNDS ENHANCED RESOURCING FOR ASIO

The Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, has said that the $641.7m of funding in the 2006-07 Budget fulfils the Government’s five-year plan for enhanced resourcing for ASIO endorsed in October last year.

ASIO will be resourced to grow to 1,860 staff, in line with the recommendation of Mr Allan Taylor, AM, in his independent review of resourcing.

The additional resources will substantially strengthen ASIO’s capability in a range of areas, including intelligence collection and assessment, surveillance, technical operations, border security and IT systems.

“There has been a significant increase in the complexity of the task facing ASIO in the past few years”, Mr Ruddock said.

“Following the September 2001 terrorist attacks, we like many other nations expected threats to be mainly external in nature. The attacks in London in July 2005, as well as recent counter-terrorism arrests in Australia, have proven that home-grown elements are also a threat.

“This additional funding ensures that ASIO is able to explore unexpected or previously unknown sources of threat as well as existing sources of concern.

“The Government is also determined that ASIO has resources for its ongoing functions in relation to espionage, sabotage, the promotion of communal violence, attacks on Australia’s defence system and acts of foreign interference,” he said.

There is additional funding of $14.8m over four years to strengthen ASIO’s communications network and infrastructure in the event that any ASIO office in Australia becomes inoperable.

The Government has also given in principle approval for a new building in Canberra to accommodate an expanded ASIO central office and the Office of National Assessments (ONA).

Media Contact: Charlie McKillop (02) 6277 7300 0419 278 715

BUDGET FUNDS ENHANCED RESOURCING FOR ASIO 2

Supporting Information

Why is this important?

ï¿» The funding meets a commitment Government gave in October 2005 to adopt the recommendations of an independent review of ASIO resourcing by Mr Allan Taylor, AM. Mr Taylor’s review of resourcing found there has been a significant increase in the complexity of the task facing ASIO. In response the Attorney-General outlined a five-year plan for enhanced resourcing to ensure ASIO is able to explore unexpected or previously unknown sources of threat as well as existing sources of concern. A target was set of 1860 staff by 2010-11. The additional resources will substantially strengthen ASIO’s capability in a range of areas, including intelligence collection and assessment, surveillance, technical operations, border security and IT systems.

Who will benefit?

ï¿» ASIO works to protect all Australians and Australian interests, whether here or overseas, from threats to national security.

What funding is the Government committing to the initiative?

ï¿» The Government is allocating $641.7m of funding in the 2006-07 Budget to fulfil the five-year strategic plan for ASIO.

What have we done in the past?

ï¿» The Australian Government has significantly increased funding for ASIO since the September 11 attacks on the United States. Most of the additional funding has been dedicated to meeting increased operational demands and improving analytical and assessment capabilities.

When will funding end?

ï¿» ASIO expects to reach the goal of 1860 staff by 2010-11.