Stepping up Australia’s response against foreign interference


Our Government is strengthening Australia’s response to the threat
of foreign interference with a new taskforce to disrupt and deter anyone
attempting to undermine our national interests.

The number one priority of our Government is to keep Australians
safe which is why we’re investing $87.8 million for a new Counter Foreign
Interference Taskforce. It highlights our focus on stepping up our efforts as
the threats to Australia evolve.

The Taskforce will work in to the National Counter Foreign
Interference Coordinator that we established last year in the Department of
Home Affairs and expand the resources the Coordinator has at their fingertips.
It will be led by a senior ASIO officer and bring together a new team of
Australian Federal Police investigators and representatives from AUSTRAC, the
Australian Signals Directorate and the Australian Geospatial Intelligence
Organisation. The Office of National Intelligence will also support the Taskforce.

This is a boost to our ability to discover, track and disrupt
foreign interference in Australia.

The increase in intelligence collection, assessment and law
enforcement capabilities will help turn more intelligence assessments into
operational disruptions to better protect Australians from foreign

The new dedicated capability of the Taskforce will also increase
the collaboration and streamline the decision-making between agencies, and
strengthen Australia’s analysis of the sophisticated disinformation activities
happening across the world, particularly against democratic processes and

Importantly, this investment will deliver a new capability without
detracting from agencies’ continued and necessary efforts on other security

Today’s announcement builds on the $38.8 million we’ve
invested since 2018‑19 to counter foreign interference, which includes
establishing a Foreign Interference Threat Assessment Centre in ASIO and
funding to support criminal prosecutions under new foreign interference

We have already taken significant steps to strengthen Australia’s
capacity to defend against foreign interference, including through the package
of legislation introduced in 2018.

We will continue to take strong action to deter acts of foreign
interference as the threat evolves, defend against them when they occur, and
uphold our laws.

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