“Keeping our country safe and secure is the highest responsibility of the Government,” Senator for Victoria the Hon Mitch Fifield said.
“Australia’s National Terrorism Public Alert was raised in September 2014 to High because the threat of terrorism at home and abroad has increased.”
“The Government has responded and is continuing to take the action necessary to ensure Australians are safe and our borders are secure.”
“The Abbott Government has boosted counter terrorism funding for our law enforcement, intelligence and security agencies by $1.1 billion,” Senator Fifield said.
“As part of this increased funding for national security, the Budget will provide $450 million to strengthen intelligence capabilities and to counter extremist messaging. This is in addition to the $630 million invested in the 2014-15 MYEFO.”
“To help combat terrorism at home and deter Australians from committing terrorist acts abroad, we need to ensure our security agencies are resourced properly and have the powers to respond to evolving threats and technological change.”
“The new measures include $296 million which will be used to strengthen the capabilities of our intelligence agencies, including updating information technology systems.”
“Metadata is essential to most counter-terrorism investigations and for detecting and prosecuting other serious crimes.”
“New legislation requires telecommunication companies to retain metadata for two years. The Budget will provide $131 million to assist the telecommunications industry to upgrade its systems to implement this policy.”
“To deter terrorism we need to challenge the recruitment methods used by extremist organisations particularly online,” Senator Fifield said.
“The Government will invest $22 million to combat terrorist propaganda and counter violent extremism. This measure will challenge terrorist organisations’ lies and propaganda online.”
“This will make it harder for terrorist groups to attract vulnerable Australians, particularly young Australians, through the internet and social media.”
“The Abbott Government is also providing a further $750 million in this Budget to extend Australia’s military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Middle East.”
“That includes $382 million for ADF operations to disrupt and degrade ISIL, or Daesh, in Iraq combatting violent extremism at its source, as part of the international coalition,” Senator Fifield concluded.
Media Contact: Tamsin Lawrence – 0408586151