The Government’s first priority to the community is to keep it safe from those who seek to do us harm. As our national security challenges continue to evolve, so must our systems and capabilities in order to meet these emerging threats.

Stopping the boats and keeping them stopped

Australia’s defences against maritime people smuggling are stronger than ever. It has been almost four years since the last people smuggling boat arrived in Australia. The Government is therefore providing ongoing funding of $62.2 million to maintain Australian Border Force Cutter Ocean Shield to prevent people smuggling activities.

Bolstering border services

Security against terrorist and other threats to air passengers,  air cargo and international mail  will be strengthened. This $294 million package includes:

  • Increasing the presence and capabilities of the Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force at nine major domestic and international airports;

  • Enhancing screening capability for inbound air cargo and international mail with new and upgraded equipment and advanced technology; and

  • Supporting 64 regional airports to upgrade to new advanced screening technologies. The Government will require major airports to upgrade screening technologies.

Combating transnational and serious crime


Serious and organised crime costs Australians $36 billion a year. The Government’s Budget measures will help tackle national and local crime, including through:

  • The appointment of the first Commonwealth Transnational Serious and Organised Crime Coordinator to ensure effective Commonwealth action against the most serious criminals;

  • Stronger protection for children through the establishment of the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation, a $68.6 million investment in new capabilities to target criminals engaged in child exploitation;

  • $59.1 million for the development of a new National Criminal Intelligence System that will make it harder for criminals to hide from law enforcement, no matter their location in Australia; and

  • $30 million extension of the successful Safer Communities Fund, which helps local councils and organisations to improve community security through the roll out of closed circuit television (CCTV), better lighting and crime prevention programs.

Strengthening ICT, national security and bio-security systems

  • The Government will provide $130 million to upgrade the Department of Home Affairs’ ICT infrastructure for visa processing, identity management and threat analysis, to better detect and prevent threats.

  • The Government is strengthening Australia’s security and intelligence by establishing the Office of National Intelligence and providing funding for a Joint Capability Fund – enhancing coordination and cooperation between our domestic security and law enforcement agencies.

  • The Government is dedicating $102 million to a smarter bio-security system to better target the prediction, surveillance and enforcement of bio-security risks.