ANU National Security College Policy Options Paper

Federating security

By Anthony Bergin

Key points:

  • National security has too often been run as a ‘top-down’ policy, with a tendency towards a ‘Canberra knows best’ approach.
  • The states and territories contribute many of the powers and capabilities needed to support our overall effort in dealing with a wide range of national security issues.
  • Harnessing all jurisdictions for national security purposes will be essential to address our national security challenges and their role here will only grow.

Policy recommendations:

  • COAG should commission a fundamental study to examine how the states and territories operate in the area of national security.
  • The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, with First Ministers’ departments, should convene a regular summit on national security issues for senior officials and key senior ministerial advisors.
  • The new Home Affairs portfolio should establish better practical coordination and information sharing across jurisdictions as an ongoing priority.

(Photo: Annie on Flickr)

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