The lifestyle we enjoy on the Gold Coast is something we shouldn’t take for granted.
All the same things that make the Coast such an attractive place to live, work and study, make it just as attractive to organised criminals, drug smugglers, and bikie gangs.
And when violence and crime overtakes a community, everyone suffers.
While you and I are welcoming back international tourists and business travellers through the airport, these criminals are keen to welcome back their illicit shipments of drugs, chemicals and weapons.
It’s something we need to be vigilant about – and the Morrison Government certainly is.
Under our leadership, total funding to the Australian Federal Police has increased to $1.7 billion, while in the last Federal Budget the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) received an almost $52 million boost to combat serious, organised crime – think international syndicates and mafia gangs.
Thankfully, this significant investment is getting results.
A new report released by the ACIC showed the first decrease in illicit drug consumption in five years. Nationally, the weight of all illicit drugs seized last financial year increased by 45 per cent, which is a 314 per cent increase in the weight of all illicit drugs seized nationally over the last decade.
We can’t afford to be complacent – criminals aren’t resting, and as borders reopen in earnest I can confirm that they are gearing up to target us and our way of life.
Last week, I chaired a meeting of all of Australia’s police and national security Ministers – right here on the Gold Coast. We discussed the full suite of measures needed to keep Australians safe from the threat of transnational, serious and organised crime.
For my part, as Federal Minister for Home Affairs, I’m ensuring each and every day that Commonwealth police and law enforcement agencies are fully prepared for the range of threats our communities will face into the future.
It is an uncertain future though, and Gold Coasters will soon be facing a choice at the upcoming Federal Election – this Government’s strong track record on border security and crime is getting results and keeping locals safe.
I’m not sure the same can be said for the Opposition – particularly now there’s speculation they don’t even know who will take on the vital national security work of Home Affairs after the election, with their spokesperson likely to be moved on.
As the results demonstrate, Gold Coasters can have confidence that under a Morrison Government, police and law enforcement agencies will continue to have the powers and resources they need to keep our community safe.