The Coalition Government welcomes the commitment by state and territory governments and partners to work together to fight transnational, serious and organised crime and combat emergency management issues.
The commitment was made during the Ministerial Council for Police and Emergency Management (MCPEM) meeting held in Canberra today.
This is the first meeting since these responsibilities moved to the Home Affairs portfolio and was hosted by the Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton and Assistant Minister for Home Affairs Senator Linda Reynolds.
The Council brings together ministers for police and emergency management from the Commonwealth, states and territories and New Zealand, and the Australian Local Government Association.
The Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton said the Council was a key forum to consider police and emergency management issues of national importance.
“The Council brings a national focus to issues that affect all Australians, including the threat of crime and the challenge of dealing with natural disasters,” Mr Dutton said.
“Transnational, serious and organised crime is a serious threat which is estimated to cost Australians up to $47.4 billion annually. Recent work by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission also shows that illicit drugs continue to be a major issue for regional Australia.”
To better respond to Cyber incidents, the Council also agreed to make incident management arrangements consistent across the country.
The Council also acknowledged its support for the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation, opened in September to boost the battle against this abhorrent crime.
The Assistant Minister for Home Affairs Linda Reynolds she was pleased that ahead of a hazardous summer bushfire season the Council reaffirmed its commitment to key emergency management initiatives that will better protect the community.
“I am pleased with the progress made on a new national fire danger ratings system and a roadmap for 21stcentury communications for Australia’s first responders,” Assistant Minister Reynolds said.
Today’s discussions at MCPEM will feed into preparations for the forthcoming Council of Australian Governments meeting to be held in December.