More money for security agencies, PM&C recommends

Security agencies will be spared further efficiency dividend cuts in a proposal from Prime Minister and Cabinet, as Tony Abbott promises greater co-ordination of agencies to counter terrorism.

Security agencies should have more money to combat terrorism, a report into Australia’s counter-terrorism machinery recommends, as the Prime Minister warned the “threat is rising at home and abroad”.

The report from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet recommends excluding security agencies from the efficiency dividend, topping up the budgets of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, the Australian Federal Police, the Office of National Assessments, the Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security and Customs and Border Protection operations.

It doesn’t recommend major structure changes to the way agencies operate, but the government has agreed to appoint a new national counter terrorism co-ordinator to better manage the logistics of activities between each agency.

On the other recommendations, Tony Abbott says the “government will carefully consider the findings and act as quickly as possible”.

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