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Wednesday, 3 April 2019
Page: 14640

Law Enforcement

Mr MORTON (Tangney) (15:14): My question is to the Minister for Home Affairs. Will the minister update the House on how a stronger economy supports our law enforcement agencies to keep Australians safe? How might different approaches to our national security undermine this support?

Mr DUTTON (DicksonMinister for Home Affairs) (15:14): I thank the honourable member for his question. Like all of us, we want to see our policing agencies properly resourced so that they can fight, for example, the scourge of ice and the misuse of methamphetamine, particularly across many rural communities but right across the country. There will be people in the gallery today and people watching this broadcast who have seen the lives of some members of their family destroyed because of the use of illicit drugs. People will understand that communities are ripped apart when people's lives are destroyed by drug use. That's why in this budget the government has put $615 million of further funding into the AFP. It is the largest single funding measure for the AFP's domestic policing capabilities in over a decade. It goes directly, along with other funding that we've provided to Home Affairs agencies, to help fight the scourge of ice and other drugs. And that can only happen if you manage the economy well.

The trouble is that when Labor were in power—in fact, right back to 1989—they never delivered a budget where there was a profit. They delivered a loss in every budget that they presided over. It got so bad that it got to the point where Labor ran out of money in government. They stopped listing drugs on the PBS. And what else did they do? They cut money from the AFP in the years 2010-11 and 2013-14; they cut $128 million from the AFP. When the Labor Party were in government last time and they ran out of money, they cut $30 million and 88 staff from the ACCC. They cut $27 million and 56 staff from AUSTRAC. And—listen to this, Mr Speaker—when they lost control of our borders, spent $16 billion and completely ran out of money, they cut $735 million and 700 staff from Customs. What happened? Drugs flowed across our borders, gun parts came across the borders, and they lost control of people movements across our borders as well. So there are real and tangible benefits in making sure that you deliver a strong budget.

It's not about delivering a profit for the sake of it. We are putting record amounts into education and health and giving money back to people when they work hard. We're providing support to national security agencies because it's necessary. Labor will always run out of money when they're in government. They will always spend and they'll always tax. The fact is, as was demonstrated when they were last in government, they take money away from the Federal Police. To the people in the galleries and the people living in the suburbs and towns around the country who want to see the police do more in the fight against ice: don't vote for the Labor Party, because they take money away from our national security agencies. (Time expired)

Mr Morrison: I ask that further questions be placed on the Notice Paper.