Immigration and Border Protection

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March 06, 2019

Reports today reveal Scott Morrison’s cuts and chaos have put Australia’s border security at risk with leaked documents showing Australian Border Force (ABF) shortfalls have ‘‘posed an increased risk’’ to maritime security.

Here’s the truth in black and white – the Morrison Government has cut funding to Home Affairs, cut boat patrols, and put our borders at risk.

ABF staffing levels for sea patrols that protect Australia’s borders are 20 per cent below requirements with the Australian Navy and Airforce being forced to step in and attempt to pick up the slack to bolster surveillance and patrolling, and address risks created by Morrison’s cuts.

The security briefing note reportedly places the blame squarely on Morrison’s cuts with it stating, ‘‘a large part of the problems is due to internal funding pressures within the Department of Home Affairs, including funding cuts for financial year 18/19.”

At the same time Scott Morrison has been claiming there is a risk to the border, he has been cutting the staff and patrols that protect Australia.

Peter Dutton – the Minister responsible for Australia’s national security – lied in December when he tried to deny these ABF cuts ever took place.

“There has been no budget cut, there will be no reduced presence on the water, we have been very clear about that.”

Peter Dutton, press conference, 12 December 2018

The Liberals tried to sweep their savage cuts and chaos under the rug. If the Morrison Government hadn’t been caught out, how far would have Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton been willing to go?

Scott Morrison has been goading the people smugglers – encouraging them to restart their vile trade – while slashing funding from the agency charged with patrolling our borders.

Australia’s Defence Forces shouldn’t spread themselves thin because Dutton is too incompetent to properly resource and run his Department.

Under Labor, Operation Sovereign Borders will be fully resourced – we will maintain Australia’s strong border protection measures and strengthen them even further with new measures to stop people smugglers in their tracks.

Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton would be better placed funding our frontline agencies rather than wasting hundreds of millions of dollars on dodgy contracts in Papua New Guinea and publicity stunts on Christmas Island.