Federating security

Hands putting together jigsaw puzzle
No 4, August 2017
Author name: 
Dr Anthony Bergin
National Security College

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.
Publication file: 
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Updated:  21 June 2017/Responsible Officer:  Head of College, National Security College/Page Contact:  Web administrator