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Transcript of interview with David Koch: Sunrise, Channel Seven: 19 July 2017: establishment of a Home Affairs portfolio; national security reform

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The Hon Peter Dutton MP Minister for Immigration and Border Protection


Interview with David Koch, Channel Seven ‘Sunrise’

19 July 2017

Subjects: Establishment of a Home Affairs portfolio; national security reform.



Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton live from Canberra. Peter Dutton what do you say to Bill Shorten saying this is just a move to quieten you down and to build support around Malcolm Turnbull?


Morning Kochie, look I think he’s got to get a new line, I think it sounded a bit glib and that’s his initial reaction, but look, normally there’s bipartisan support for national security issues and I hope that once Mr Shorten gets a brief and is properly informed then he’ll make a statement that’s worthy of somebody who wants to be Prime Minister.


Why do we need this super agency, I know they have it in the United States and in the UK as well, but we’ve been pretty good, our authorities at stopping major terror plots. Why is it broken and need to change?


Well we’ve been really good. Over the last three years we’ve had something like 70 people charged with terrorist offences, there’ve been five attacks, three of them have resulted in the loss of innocent life and there have been 12 terrorist plots that have been thwarted.

So we have been successful, but the reality is that we have only just seen the start of this scourge of terrorism and it will be with us for a long period of time.

So we don’t want to wait for an attack and then have a look at the coronial inquiry and work out that things weren’t as they should be so I think the Prime Minister has taken a decision to actively step into this space to make sure we can join our


agencies up, to make sure they can still have their independence, but to make sure they are coordinated as best they can be, sharing information, intelligence. If we do that then it gives us the best chance of dealing with the threat of terrorism over the next few years.


Well you talk about coronial inquiries, one of the most recent high profile one was around the Lindt Café and there was a lot of criticism with the way authorities handled that tragedy. Was that the spark to this, that you will now and your homeland office will then get rid of all the, if you like, the turf wars between authorities?


As I say Kochie, I think we’ve got the best agencies in the world and I think they work well together; my argument and the Prime Minister’s argument…


…but in this instance it didn’t with Lindt Cafe…..


No, well you’re right, in Man Monis the system broke down, mistakes were made and people accept responsibility for that.

So we need to learn from those sorts of examples because - for example we’ve got people coming in and out of our country now that have been foreign fighters, that have been involved in Syria or Iraq. We didn’t have that problem five or ten years ago, not on the scale that we do now.

And there are many other aspects to it, there is a counter espionage aspect, the cyber terrorism aspect and a lot around organised crime; so drugs, child paedophilia for example, there are lots of ways in which the new arrangement where these agencies still keep their independent statutory authority, but they will be able to join up in a way that they haven’t before and I think that gives us the best chance of keeping people safe.


Well you’re going to be the key enforcer of this country, so all the best with it.


Thanks Kochie.