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Published on Aug 9, 2014
The first responsibility of every government is to keep our country as safe as possible.
I regret to say that a growing number of Australians are now traveling to Iraq and Syria and other conflict zones.
Their aim is do harm and some hope to bring back deadly skills to Australia.
The threat to Australia and to Australians from these extremists is real and growing.
So this week, the Government announced a series of measures that will strengthen our national security.
The Government will be providing a further $630 million over four years to boost the counter terrorism capacity of our security and intelligence organisations, including the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service.
We will prosecute those who engage in terrorism tourism. This is a serious offence – and if you do it, it will mean jail.
The Government is strengthening our ability to monitor, arrest, and prosecute people who have been involved with terrorist groups abroad. As well, we want to prevent would-be terrorists from departing Australia.
As part of these plans, we want telecommunications companies to keep their data. We don’t want to collect new data – but to ensure the limited data already collected can be accessed by authorities to build a case against those who have or are planning to commit crimes.
And we are determined to stop the flow of money that supports these extremists in their activities.
These are measures to make 23 million Australians safer.
We will keep our promise to provide you with a safe and secure Australia – as safe and secure as government can possibly make it.