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Dutton to head up mega-security department

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A new super ministry will be created to manage national security and be overseen by Peter Dutton, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced.

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The change is part of the most significant reform to national intelligence and domestic security arrangements in more than 40 years.

“When it comes to our nation’s security, we must stay ahead of the threats against us,” Turnbull told reporters in Canberra today.

The new Home Affairs portfolio would be similar to the UK’s Home Office arrangement, but not the Department of Homeland Security in the US.

Each agency under the new umbrella will retain their statutory independence, Turnbull said.

They include domestic spy agency ASIO, the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Border Force and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.

Now Immigration Minister Peter Dutton will oversee the new portfolio and be assisted by Attorney-General George Brandis and Justice Minister Michael Keenan.

At a glance: The new security super ministry

BRINGS together Australia’s border and domestic security agencies.

THESE include domestic spy agency ASIO, Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, financial intelligence agency AUSTRAC and the Office of Transport Security.

THE new ministry will be similar to the United Kingdom’s Home Office arrangements, as opposed to the much bigger Homeland Security model in the United States.

IMMIGRATION Minister Peter Dutton will be given the top job.

THE HOME affairs minister will have two ministers reporting to him on security and immigration: the attorney-general and the justice minister.

THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL will retain his role in relation to issuing warrants and ministerial authorisations.

HIS DEPARTMENT will be responsible for oversight, with the portfolio to take in the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor and the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

A NEW Office of National Intelligence will also be established, headed by a Director of National Intelligence.

THE AUSTRALIAN Signals Directorate, which collects and analyses foreign intelligence, will become a statutory agency within Defence.

THE CHANGES are expected to be rolled out by June 30, 2018.

– AAP

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