Bill Shorten must urgently explain whether he agrees with Paul Keating that Australia’s security agencies have lost their strategic bearing and whether Australia’s security agencies would indeed be headed for a full scale “clean out” under a Shorten Labor Government.
Given Mr Shorten made repeated references to the advice he and his colleagues receive from Mr Keating, Australians have every right to be concerned that Labor would unpick Australia’s successful national security apparatus – a security network which has disrupted 15 major terrorist attack plots since September 2014.
Mr Shorten must immediately reveal whether he has had any personal discussions with Mr Keating on this matter and whether Mr Keating has expressed those same views during those meetings.
Have any other Labor-associated figures, including disgraced former Senator Sam Dastyari advocated the sacking of our intelligence chiefs?
Has Mr Keating advocated the abolition of the Department of Home Affairs and is this the reason Mr Shorten refuses to nominate who would be Minister in a Shorten Government?
Australians also have a right to know who would replace existing personnel in key security and intelligence roles.
Since September 2014, Australia’s law enforcement agencies have disrupted 15 major terrorist attack plots and conducted 41 counter-terrorism operations, with 93 people charged.
The Coalition Government has increased funding of our law enforcement, intelligence and security agencies by more than $2.2 billion since August 2014.
We also announced additional funding of $512 million in the 2019-20 Budget to detect, deter and disrupt terror threats and transnational crime.
It is time Bill Shorten outlined his vision for the national security of our nation, and explained his plan to ensure our security agencies are well resourced.
Kevin Rudd’s decision upon forming government to dismantle the Coalition’s successful border protection policies led to 50,000 illegal arrivals on 800 boats with more than 1,200 deaths at sea.
Bill Shorten cannot be trusted to keep our borders secure, and he lacks the strength and competence required to keep Australia safe.