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Programme 1.6: National security and criminal justice

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The objective of this programme is to contribute to Outcome 1 by protecting and promoting the rule of law and building a safe, secure and resilient Australia. Details of financial results for administered items are provided in Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements.

Achievements contributing to programme deliverables

National Aerial Firefighting Centre

In 2013–14, the department worked with the National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC) to provide an effective national aerial firefighting capability. Over the 2013–14 bushfire season, NAFC contracted a total of 73 specialised aircraft to deliver services across the country. This included firebombing, intelligence gathering, reconnaissance and supervision aircraft. The national fleet was involved in a number of major bushfire events throughout Australia, including the Sydney/Blue Mountains fire in NSW, East Gippsland and Morwell coal mine fires in Victoria, and the Bangor fires in South Australia. A notable achievement was the early engagement of two Ericsson Aircranes into Sydney, in preparation for a possible early fire season. This early placement provided invaluable support to the firefighting effort during the October 2013 NSW bushfires.

Natural Disaster Resilience Programme

On 5 March 2014, the Prime Minister signed a new National Partnership Agreement on Natural Disaster Resilience. The agreement is the mechanism for administering the Natural Disaster Resilience Programme and is a joint funding agreement between Commonwealth, state and territory governments. Through the agreement, the Australian Government will provide $52.2 million over two years for states and territories to invest in disaster resilience projects, which are prioritised in accordance with their respective state-wide natural disaster risk assessments and consistent with the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience. The agreement allows states and territories to have increased flexibility to effectively meet the requirements of local communities threatened by disasters in the strategic context of their risk priorities.

Crime prevention

The department administered the Secure Schools Programme which was a targeted grants programme designed to assist schools at risk of racially, religiously or ethnically motivated crimes such as violence, arson and vandalism. It provided funding for security infrastructure such as fencing, lighting and CCTV cameras. Under the programme, $35 million was provided through three funding rounds and a total of 126 projects at 76 government and non-government schools and preschools were funded. Round three of the programme ceased on 30 June 2014. The Australian Government has extended the programme (as the Schools Security Programme) with a further $18 million over three years for schools and preschools at risk of attack, violence or harassment stemming from racial or religious intolerance.

The Australian Government expanded the completed Safer Suburbs Programme by awarding $3,842,539 in grants to 32 local councils under the Taxi Security Scheme to improve the safety and security of taxi drivers at taxi ranks. The scheme will cease on 30 June 2015.

The department administers funding rounds under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 which allows confiscated funds to be given back to the community to prevent and reduce the harmful effects of crime in Australia. In 2013–14, the Australian Government committed $50 million over three years for the department to deliver the Safer Streets Programme. The programme provides solutions for the problem of local crime hot spots and addresses anti-social behaviour with a focus on retail, entertainment and commercial precincts through the installation of security infrastructure.

International Criminal Court

The department continued to manage Australia's financial obligations to the International Criminal Court and supported Australia's engagement with the court.

Results against key performance indicators

Table 11: Results against key performance indicators, Programme 1.6

Key performance indicators
Results
Improved community resilience

2013–14: Achieved—trend information is not available as this is a new key performance indicator set out in the Portfolio Budget Statements

The Australian Government continued to provide funding via the National Emergency Management Projects grants programme, the National Disaster Resilience Programme and the National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC) to achieve priority disaster resilience initiatives identified by the Council of Australian Governments and emergency management ministers.

The NAFC's ability to effectively and quickly mobilise aircraft continues to enhance Australia's aerial firefighting capability. The number of aircraft contracted increased from the previous financial year (52 aircraft compared to 73 aircraft).

As part of the Countering Violent Extremism programme, the department administered the fourth round of the Building Community Resilience grants programme. This enabled expenditure of $854,204 in administered funds to strengthen community resilience and resist violent extremist influences. By delivering the grants programme, a range of projects were progressed including leadership and youth empowerment programmes, digital media and film training and internet-focused programmes including a social media campaign and a website focusing on delivering counter narratives.

Improved protection of national security 2013–14: Achieved—trend information is not available as this is a new key performance indicator set out in the Portfolio Budget Statements

 

The capability provided by the NAFC enhances Australia's capacity to effectively respond to emergencies and disasters. It supports Australia's resilience-based approach to emergency management as outlined in the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience.

The department addressed Australia's counter-terrorism challenges by delivering a range of capability development activities and exercises. In 2013–14, the department administered the counter-terrorism exercise programme under the Australia New Zealand Counter Terrorism Committee Capability Development programme. This enabled expenditure of $1.092 million in administered funds to support jurisdictions conducting drill style exercises to test and evaluate elements of their counter-terrorism arrangements and build preparedness, prevention, response and recovery capability.

The department continued to engage with state and territory governments through the Australia-New Zealand Counter Terrorism Committee activities, including the development and launch of Active Shooter Guidelines for Places of Mass Gathering and ongoing initiatives to enhance the protection of critical infrastructure.

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