Immigration and Border Protection

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December 21, 2018

Peter Dutton talks a tough game on national security but his poor performance has been exposed in a newly-released ANAO report which reveals the Australian Border Force fleet are falling short of their patrol targets.

The ANAO report Cape Class Patrol Boat – In Service Support Arrangements shows that the ABF’s Cape Class fleet has consistently fallen short of their patrol days target since 2014.

In 2016-17, the fleet only completed 2626 patrol days of their targeted 3320 due to “ongoing work to rectify defects with the Cape Class Patrol Boats”.

In 2017-18, this number dropped even further with the fleet only achieving 2036 patrol days – just 61 per cent of its 3320 day target.

Most concerningly, the report revealed the ability for the fleet to operate has been “constrained” because of the Department’s inability to manage its budget.

“The management of the budget required to operate and provide in-service support to the Cape Class patrol boats has been constrained as the department is not yet well placed to effectively estimate, forecast and control costs to operate and provide in-service support to the Cape Class patrol boats over their complete lifespan.”

ANAO report, page 11

This scathing report follows news Peter Dutton and Scott Morrison chose to risk Australia’s border security by ordering the Australian Border Force Fleet to stop patrols to save money on fuel whilst cutting frontline ABF staff at Australian airports over the Christmas period at the same time.

The Australian Border Force’s fleet of Cape class patrol boats are critical to the operation of our country’s border security operations and target people smugglers, illegal fishing, the importation of prohibited items into Australia, and other transnational crime.

Australia’s borders are too serious to be put at risk by Peter Dutton’s poor performance and border force blunders.

The Home Affairs Minister may have considered himself Prime Ministerial material but it’s clear Peter Dutton can’t count his current portfolio as one of his crowning achievements.

As Peter Dutton’s long list of failures continues to grow, his lies about Labor’s strong position on border position look even more desperate.

If Dutton is so out of his depth when it comes to managing his Department including the Australian Border Force – why is Scott Morrison keeping him in the job?