Department of Home Affairs (Australia)

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Department of Home Affairs
Department of Home Affairs - Logo.svg
Department overview
Formed 20 December 2017
Preceding Department
Jurisdiction Commonwealth of Australia
Headquarters Canberra
Minister responsible
Department executive
Child agencies
Website www.homeaffairs.gov.au

The Department of Home Affairs is the Australian Government interior ministry with responsibilities for national security, law enforcement, emergency management, border control, immigration, refugees, citizenship, and multicultural affairs.[1] The portfolio also includes federal agencies such as the Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. The Home Affairs portfolio reports to the Minister for Home Affairs The Hon. Peter Dutton MP and is led by Secretary of the Department of Home Affairs Mike Pezzullo.

The Department was officially established on 20 December 2017 building on the former Department of Immigration and Border Protection and bringing policy responsibilities and agencies from the Attorney-General's Department, Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and Department of Social Services. The Department of Home Affairs is seen as the Australian version of the United Kingdom's Home Office or the United States Department of Homeland Security.[2]

History[edit]

Peter Dutton (second from right) announcing the creation of the new Home Affairs portfolio in July 2017.

One of the seven inaugural Australian Public Service departments at the federation of Australia was the Department of Home Affairs (1901–16) with wide-ranging responsibilities for public works, elections, census, the public service, pensions, and inter-state relations. This followed by the Department of Home and Territories (1916–1928), the Department of Home Affairs (1928–32), the Department of the Interior (1932–39), the Department of the Interior (1939–72), the Department of Home Affairs (1977–80), and the Department of Home Affairs and Environment (1980–84). Prior to the formation of the current Department of Home Affairs, the Attorney-General's Department had responsibility for national security, law enforcement, emergency management as well as border protection alongside the various forms of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

The proposed establishment of the Department of Home Affairs was announced by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on 18 July 2017 to be headed by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton as the designated Minister for Home Affairs to bring together all national security, border control and law enforcement agencies of the government.[3] The Department was officially stood up on the 20 December 2017 through a Administrative Arrangements Order.

The Department combines the national security, law enforcement and emergency management functions of the Attorney-General's Department, the transport security functions of the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, the counterterrorism and cybersecurity functions of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the multicultural affairs functions of the Department of Social Services, and the entirety of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Ministers[edit]

The ministers of the Home Affairs porfolio were announced on 19 December 2017 by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull including a Minister for Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity held by Angus Taylor and a Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs held by Alan Tudge.[4][5]

With the Liberal Party of Australia leadership spills, 2018 resulting in the change of Prime Minister, Scott Morrison separated the concurrently held Minister for Immigration and Border Protection office from Peter Dutton who was also Minister for Home Affairs and renamed the immigration minister to the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs as a post in the Outer Ministry. The following are the ministers of the portfolio:[6]

Portfolio responsibilities[edit]

The Department is responsible for the following functions:[7]

  • National security policy and operations, including -
    • Countering terrorism policy and coordination
    • Countering foreign interference
    • Countering violent extremism programs
  • Law enforcement policy and operations
  • Immigration and migration, including -
    • border security
    • entry, stay and departure arrangements for non-citizens
    • customs and border control other than quarantine and inspection
  • Multicultural affairs
  • Transport security
  • Cyber policy co-ordination
  • Protective services at Commonwealth establishments and diplomatic and consular premises in Australia
  • Critical infrastructure protection co-ordination
  • Commonwealth emergency management
  • Natural disaster relief, recovery and mitigation policy and financial assistance including payments to the States and Territories and the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment

Departmental functions[edit]

Counter-Terrorism[edit]

The Commonwealth Counter-Terrorism Coordinator and the Centre for Counter-Terrorism Coordination within the Department of Home Affairs (formerly within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet) provides strategic advice and support to the Minister for Home Affairs and the Prime Minister on all aspects of counterterrorism and countering violent extremism policy and co-ordination across government.[8] The Office was created after recommendations from the Review of Australia's Counter-Terrorism Machinery in 2015 in response to the 2014 Sydney hostage crisis. The Commonwealth Counter-Terrorism Coordinator also serves as the Co-Chair and or Chair of the Australian and New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Joint Counter-Terrorism Board, with the Centre for Counter-Terrorism Coordination providing secretariat support to the Australian Counter-Terrorism Centre and the Australian and New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee.[9] Along with the Deputy Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, the Centre for Counter-Terrorism Coordination is also composed of the Counter-Terrorism Operational Coordination and Evaluation Branch, the Counter-Terrorism Strategic Coordination Branch, the Counter-Terrorism Capability Branch, and the Home Affairs Counter-Terrorism Policy Branch.

Cyber Security[edit]

The National Cyber Security Adviser and the Cyber Security Policy Division within the Department of Home Affairs (formerly within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet) is responsible for cyber security policy and the implementation of the Australian Government Cyber Security Strategy. The National Cyber Coordinator also ensures effective partnerships between Commonwealth, state and territory governments, the private sector, non-governmental organisations, the research community and the international partners. The National Cyber Coordinator also works closely with the Australian Cyber Security Centre and the Australian Ambassador for Cyber Issues.[10]

CERT Australia is the national computer emergency response team responsible for cybersecurity responses and providing cyber security advice and support to critical infrastructure and other systems of national interest. CERT Australia works closely with other Australian Government agencies, international CERTs, and the private sector. It is also a key element in the Australian Cyber Security Centre, sharing information and working closely with ASIO, the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Signals Directorate, the Defence Intelligence Organisation and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.[11]

Aviation and Maritime Security[edit]

The Aviation and Maritime Security Division (formerly the Office of Transport Security within the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development) is lead by the Executive Director of Transport Security and is responsible for aviation security, air cargo security, maritime security, and various transport security operations.

Transnational Serious and Organised Crime[edit]

The Commonwealth Transnational Serious and Organised Crime Coordinator is responsible for policy development and strategic coordination of the disruption of transnational serious organised crime across the Australian Government including the Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, and state and territory law enforcement agencies. The Coordinator is held concurrently by an Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner.[12]

Counter Child Exploitation[edit]

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation is a whole-of-government initiative within the Australian Federal Police responsible to the Commonwealth Transnational Serious and Organised Crime Coordinator to investigate, disrupt and prosecute child exploitation and online child abuse crimes.

Counter Foreign Interference[edit]

The National Counter Foreign Interference Coordinator is responsible for policy development and strategic coordination of countering foreign interference and counter-espionage to protect the integrity of Australian national security and interests. The Coordinator is responsible for interagency and intergovernmental strategy and coordination to counter coercive, clandestine or deceptive activities undertaken on behalf of foreign powers. Accordingly, the Coordinator acts as a intergovernmental focal point for the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and elements of the Department of Defence such as the Defence Security and Vetting Service and Australian Defence Force Investigative Service. [13]

Critical Infrastructure[edit]

The Australian Government Critical Infrastructure Centre (CIC) is responsible for whole-of-government co-ordination of critical infrastructure protection and national security risk assessments and advice. It was established on 23 January 2017 originally within the Attorney-General's Department and brings together expertise and capability from across the Australian Government and functions in close consultation states and territory governments, regulators, and the private sector. The Centre also supports the Foreign Investment Review Board and brings together staff from across governmental authorities including from the Australian Treasury, the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, and the Department of the Environment and Energy.[14]

Crisis Coordination[edit]

The Australian Government Crisis Coordination Centre (CCC) is an all-hazards co-ordination facility, which operates on a 24/7 basis, and supports the Australian Government Crisis Committee (AGCC) and the National Crisis Committee (NCC). The CCC provides whole-of-government all-hazards monitoring and situational awareness for domestic and international events and coordinates Australian Government responses to major domestic incidents. The Crisis Coordination Centre is managed by the Crisis Management Branch of Emergency Management Australia which was within the Attorney-General's Department before its transfer.

Departmental Executive[edit]

  • Secretary of Home Affairs
  • Deputy Secretary (Executive)
  • Deputy Secretary (Policy)
  • Deputy Secretary (Corporate and Enabling) / Chief Operating Officer
  • Deputy Secretary (Intelligence and Capability)
  • Deputy Secretary (Immigration and Citizenship Services)
  • Deputy Secretary (Infrastructure, Transport Security and Customs) / Deputy Comptroller-General of Customs
  • Commonwealth Counter-Terrorism Coordinator
  • National Cyber Security Adviser
  • Commonwealth Transnational Serious and Organised Crime Coordinator
  • National Counter Foreign Interference Coordinator
  • Commissioner of the Australian Border Force / Comptroller-General of Customs
  • Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police
  • Director-General of Security
  • Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission
  • Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre

Portfolio agencies[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A Strong and Secure Australia". Prime Minister of Australia. 18 July 2017. Retrieved 18 July 2017. 
  2. ^ "Peter Dutton given control of new home affairs super ministry". The Guardian. 18 July 2017. Retrieved 18 July 2017. 
  3. ^ "A Strong and Secure Australia". Prime Minister of Australia. 18 July 2017. Retrieved 18 July 2017. 
  4. ^ Karp, Paul (19 December 2017). "Turnbull cabinet reshuffle: conservatives promoted and Darren Chester dumped". The Guardian. Australia. 
  5. ^ Turnbull, Malcolm (19 December 2017). "Ministerial Arrangements" (Press release). Government of Australia. Retrieved 3 February 2018. Peter Dutton will become Minister for Home Affairs, for the first time bringing together the nation’s security, border and intelligence agencies under one department. As Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton will be supported by two Ministers: Angus Taylor as Minister for Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity and Alan Tudge as Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs. He will also continue to have the assistance of Alex Hawke as Assistant Minister for Home Affairs. The Department of Home Affairs will keep Australians safer by ensuring full coordination between ASIO, the AFP, Australian Border Force, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and AUSTRAC. It will also contribute enormously to nation building through its focus on our immigration program. 
  6. ^ Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (26 August 2018). "Morrison Ministry" (PDF) (Press release). Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 28 August 2018. 
  7. ^ Administrative Arrangements Order AAO 20 December 2017, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
  8. ^ [1] Office of the Counter-Terrorism Coordinator
  9. ^ [2] Review of Australia's Counter-Terrorism Machinery
  10. ^ [3] Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Cyber Security Strategy
  11. ^ [4] Australian Government Attorney-General's Department page on CERT Australia
  12. ^ Joint Press Conference with Minister Peter Dutton, Commissioner Andrew Colvin and Deputy Commissioner Karl Kent — Parliament House Department of Home Affairs
  13. ^ Crack unit to ward off threats from espionage The Australian
  14. ^ [5] Australian Government Attorney-General's Department page on Critical infrastructure resilience