NEWS Update on Machinery of Government changes

​The establishment of the Home Affairs Portfolio, including the Department of Home Affairs, is part of the most significant change to Australia's national security and intelligence arrangements in decades.

The establishment of the Home Affairs Portfolio, including the Department of Home Affairs, is part of the most significant change to Australia’s national security and intelligence arrangements in decades.

The Portfolio brings together Australia's federal law enforcement, national and transport security, criminal justice, emergency management, multicultural affairs and immigration and border-related functions and agencies, working together to keep Australia safe.  

There are four operational bodies and agencies that have transferred to the Portfolio:

  • Australian Border Force (ABF)
  • Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC)
  • Australian Federal Police (AFP)
  • the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC)

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) will join the Portfolio subject to the passage of legislation in early 2018.

The Department of Home Affairs incorporates the full suite of functions previously undertaken by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the following additional functions:

  • National security and law enforcement policy
  • Emergency management, including crisis management and disaster recovery
  • Countering terrorism policy and coordination
  • Cyber security policy and coordination
  • Countering foreign interference
  • Critical infrastructure protection
  • Multicultural affairs
  • Countering violent extremism programs
  • Transport Security

Machinery of Government negotiations in relation to corporate functions and budgets are continuing across affected departments. An interim organisational structure for the Department of Home Affairs is in place while these negotiations are finalised. A new organisational structure which reflects how the work and functions of Home Affairs will be aligned in the future will come into effect in March 2018.

It is expected the Portfolio will be fully established by July 2018, including a new website for the Department of Home Affairs and a separate website for the Australian Border Force.