The recently created home affairs department, headed by Peter Dutton, is a behemoth that its critics fear will compromise civil liberties.
But Dutton argues there is no basis for such concerns. “There are no greater laws or arrest powers that have been introduced or a lessening of protections that have been provided for under this new arrangement,” he tells The Conversation.
On the growing area of cybersecurity, Dutton says there is a need to “get the balance right” between protection and privacy.
In an interview that canvasses the immigration debate sparked by Tony Abbott and the changing face of a department once focused on nation-building to one prioritising national security, Dutton also defends the time taken for the investigation into Border Force Commissioner Roman Quaedvlieg, who has been on paid leave since July. “I’m certain of the fact that this has been dealt with in the most expeditious way possible,” he says.
Authors: Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra