The Hon Karen Andrews MP
Shadow Minister for Home Affairs
Shadow Minister for Child Protection and the Prevention of Family Violence
8 November 2022
Labor has a history of gutting our law enforcement agencies and the Albanese Government is, unfortunately, proving to be no exception to this.
Today in Senate Estimates, Australian Federal Police officials confirmed a cut of $18.46 million to this crucial agency.
Since coming to office in 2013, the Coalition increased total funding to the AFP to $1.7 billion.
In the March Budget this year, the Coalition invested $170.4 million to further develop the capabilities of the Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force (ABF) over the next four years.
This funding was aimed at hardening Australia’s border against transnational, serious and organised crime (TSOC) by increasing the number of ABF officers at seaports, airports and warehouses, and boosting the AFP’s specialist operational, surveillance and criminal asset confiscation capabilities.
Any cut to the AFP’s funding is an undermining of our national security and Labor needs to explain what program is now being underfunded by their short-sightedness.
Some of these cuts were revealed to be within the AFP’s legal area, something that now requires additional funding with the Labor Government’s recent decision to repatriate people from camps in Syria – this area specifically deals with issues like control orders.
These orders keep Australians safe.
The Coalition calls on Labor to immediately restore the AFP’S full March Budget-era funding immediately, and provide additional funds to the AFP to appropriately monitor the cohorts reported to be repatriated from Syria, as well as to investigate cyber security incidents we have seen increase. Machinery of Government changes announced in the early days of the Albanese Government – yanking the AFP out of the Home Affairs portfolio – was an instant failure.
We have since seen the responsibility for cyber crime removed from their “dedicated” Cyber Security Minister, at a time when many Australians are seeing mass-scale data breaches.