Budget Boosts ASIO Funding By $1.3bn As China Tension Grows
The Morrison Government appears firmly focused on the nation’s security, with an extra $1.3 billion over 10 years going to the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.
The Budget papers say the funds will further boost ASIO’s ability to protect Australia and Australians from threats to our security.
“This investment will significantly enhance ASIO’s capability to identify and respond to threats in a more complex security environment”, one paper says.
The extra funding comes amid growing tensions with China – and even rumblings of a possible war should relations deteriorate further.
And there is clearly a concern within Canberra that Chinese spies have infiltrated key areas of Australian government and business.
The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission will get $52 million to target transnational, serious and organised crime to deliver a national criminal intelligence system aimed at the sharing of national policing information across the country.
IGIS, the security and intelligence watchdog, has been allocated $4 million over four years to oversee the use of surveillance, data access and interception powers under controversial legislation that would allow the Australian Signals Directorate to break into mobile phones and computers linked to serious crime.
Another $42 million will go towards bolstering the defences of critical infrastructure against cyber-attacks.