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Program 1.6: National Security and Criminal Justice

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Major achievements

Natural Disaster Resilience Program

The Natural Disaster Resilience Program (NDRP), under the National Partnership Agreement on Natural Disaster Resilience(NPA), has provided funding of approximately $110 million over four years for disaster mitigation works and support for emergency management volunteers. The current NPA concludes on 30 June 2013, but was reviewed in 2012–13 and found to be an effective mechanism for national collaboration on natural disaster resilience activities. A new two-year NPA is being negotiated with the support of the department which will strengthen the alignment of projects funded under the NPA with the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience and state-wide natural disaster risk assessments.

Standing Council for Police and Emergency Management

The department provides secretariat support to the Standing Council on Police and Emergency Management (SCPEM) which has focused on issues including the need to address violence against women, a national response to firearms crimes, cybercrime and information sharing.

National security exercises

In recognition of the key role that exercise activities play in national security capability development, significant effort was invested in 2012–13 to implement a more structured and strategic approach to exercising. The department has led the development of exercise activity on behalf of the Australia-New Zealand Counter Terrorism Committee (ANZCTC) and the Australia-New Zealand Emergency Management Committee (ANZEMC) that has facilitated multi-agency, cross-sector engagement, as well as addressing needs related to the national crisis and continuity of government arrangements.

A significant focus for the department in the reporting period has been the development of an exercise program to support preparations for the G20 meetings in 2013 and 2014. While this program is focused on the needs of Australian Government agencies, the department has collaborated closely with relevant state and territory government agencies on proposed G20 exercise activities led by those jurisdictions. The objectives of the program will be to evaluate control, coordinate and organise high-level decision-making arrangements for the G20 meeting and ensure Australia is well prepared to host a successful event in a safe and secure environment.

Countering Violent Extremism to prevent terrorism

Achievements under the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program in 2012–13 included:

  • working with communities to develop and promote projects designed to reduce the appeal of violent extremism
  • building collaboration among government and non-government organisations, including state and territory government partners, to tackle issues that can lead to radicalisation
  • commissioning research and completing an evaluation baseline of quantitative and qualitative data to support a comprehensive evaluation of the CVE program
  • increasing cooperation with international partners to build understanding and international capability to counter violent extremism
  • further developing the Resilient Communities website (www.resilientcommunities.gov.au) which provides a platform for sharing information and challenging extremist ideologies
  • leading an interdepartmental committee to coordinate the Australian Government's response to the domestic implications of the conflict in Syria, including the development of a fact sheet for communities.

Countering Violent Extremism

Our work in countering violent extremism (CVE) aims to reduce the risk of home-grown terrorism by strengthening Australia's resilience to radicalisation and assisting individuals to resist extremist influences and beliefs.

A key component of Australia's approach to CVE is effective community engagement. Community involvement in the CVE program is critical as communities are often best placed to take preventative action before individuals come to the attention of law enforcement or security agencies. The CVE program has adopted direct engagement strategies that give community leaders and members the opportunity to influence and contribute to policy development and program delivery. Through a combination of meetings and facilitated forums with community leaders, a collaborative website (www.resilientcommunities.gov.au) and a popular grants program, the department has developed relationships with communities that promote dialogue about the often confronting issues of extremism, social cohesion and interfaith understanding.

Since 2010, the Australian Government has provided grants to support 50 community-based projects across the country, with another round of grants launched on 6 June 2013. These grants aim to strengthen community resilience and contribute to Australia's social cohesion. In 2012-13, the Building Community Resilience grants program funded 22 organisations all over Australia to empower communities through education and capacity-building to reject extremist ideologies. Projects that were funded included mentoring, leadership and media training projects, projects that aimed to develop educational tools and resources, and projects that focused on interfaith and social cohesion.

Secure Schools and Safer Suburbs Programs

Substantial advances have been made in fulfilling the Australian Government's commitments to improve the security of communities through the Safer Suburbs Program. These include protecting schools at risk of religiously, ethnically or racially motivated crime and violence through the Secure Schools Program, and returning money confiscated from criminals to the communities as funding for crime prevention purposes under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

Secure Schools Program

The Secure Schools Program was extended to an additional 21 preschools (20 Jewish and one government) to enhance their security. A total of $15 million was awarded to 36 schools and 21 preschools in the third round of funding. Since the program was established a total of 105 projects at 71 schools (17 Jewish, 26 Islamic, 20 government and eight independent) have been approved under three funding rounds to complete security projects including installation of fences, closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, access controls, alarm systems, bollards and lighting.

Safer Suburbs Program

Work continued to deliver 43 projects funded by the Safer Suburbs Program delivering $5.42 million over three years (2010-11 to 2012–13) to assist communities around Australia install safety measures such as CCTV and lighting in crime hot spots, and for diversionary and intervention activities for young people.

In April 2013, the Australian Government invited local councils to seek funding under the Safer Suburbs Program Taxi Security Scheme to help to protect taxi drivers at risk of robbery and violence at taxi ranks. Grants were approved totalling nearly $4 million funding to 32 local councils to undertake projects to enhance the security of at-risk taxi ranks.

Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 funding programs

Projects funded under section 298 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 received support from the department during the past year. In April 2013, the Australian Government allocated $5 million to the Youth Off The Streets program and $5 million to the Police and Citizens Youth Clubs and Blue Light Organisations through a competitive grants round.

International Criminal Court

The department continued to manage Australia's financial obligations to the International Criminal Court and build on and maintain Australia's relationship and engagement with the Court.

Performance results

Table 2.16: Performance results, Program 1.6
Key performance indicators
Results
Identifiable progress on legislative and operational initiatives undertaken with Pacific Island countries
Not applicable

The Pacific Police Development Program has been incorporated into Program 1.2 as of the 2012–13 financial year.
Fund targeted national and community crime prevention programs
Substantially achieved

Community crime prevention projects have been conducted in accordance with program guidelines and project funding agreements. The majority of projects are progressing in accordance with these requirements, however, a small number have experienced delays in delivering the required outcomes.
Achievement of priority disaster resilience initiatives identified by COAG and emergency management ministers
Achieved

The Australian Government continued to provide funding via the National Emergency Management Projects grants program, the National Disaster Resilience Program (via the NPA) and the National Aerial Firefighting Centre.
Prevention of terrorism through a national approach to countering violent extremism
Achieved

The CVE program is currently in the third year of a four-year program. A focus on evaluations in 2013 will enable an assessment of the extent to which the CVE strategy has contributed to important national security outcomes.
Australia meets its financial obligations to the International Criminal Court and participates effectively in negotiations regarding its jurisdiction
Achieved

During the reporting year, the department arranged payment of Australia's assessed annual contribution to the International Criminal Court. Australia participated in the eleventh session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in November 2012 and in ongoing deliberations regarding the Court's budget, administration and jurisdiction.

 

Table 2.17: Administered items, Program 1.6
Administered items
Results
Payments for membership of international bodies
Achieved

Payment for Australia's membership of the Financial Action Task Force for 2013. Australia holds the Vice-Presidency from July 2013 and the Presidency from July 2014 for one year.
Budget Price: $0.106 million
Actual Price: $$0.106 million
Payments for grants to Australian organisations
Achieved

Budget appropriation was reduced by $0.643 million following the review of uncommitted funds — with funds redirected to other government priorities. This budget line also appears in Program 1.3.
Budget Price: $1.212 million
Actual Price: $1.182 million
Safer Suburbs
Achieved

All 43 projects have been completed in 2012–13 with acquittals being finalised for the last few. The program has been extended to implement a Taxi Security Scheme with $3,842,539 awarded to 32 local councils over three years.
Budget Price: $2.000 million
Actual Price: $1.944 million
Australia's contribution to the International Criminal Court
Achieved

The department administered Australia's assessed annual contribution to the International Criminal Court, participated in the eleventh session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and is in ongoing deliberations regarding the Court's budget, administration and jurisdiction.
Budget Price: $ 4.808 million
Actual Price: $4.808 million
Disaster Resilience Australia — Emergency Warning System Database
Achieved

The department administered these funds to provide continuing support to the hosting and managing of the Location Based Numbers System
Budget Price: $1.620 million
Actual Price: $1.536 million
Disaster Resilience Australia Package
Achieved

Eighteen projects were funded through the 2012–13 National Emergency Management Projects grants program to enhance disaster resilience across Australia. These initiatives delivered outcomes aimed at building or enhancing significant national emergency management capability in line with the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience, with a focus on sustainability. Resultant initiatives were products of the strong and cooperative partnerships between the Australian Government, state and territory governments, non-government organisations and the private sector.

A $4 million contribution to ACT emergency services included under this budget line at additional estimates was subsequently made as a specific purpose payment through the Department of the Treasury.
Budget Price: $6.713 million
Actual Price: $2.666 million
Australia — New Zealand National Counter-terrorism Committee — special fund and operating expenses
Achieved

The Australia-New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee (ANZCTC) special fund is an administered annual appropriation to support the development of a national, interoperable counter-terrorism capability, including the partial funding of the Australian Secret Network (ASNet). Expenditure from the administered fund is approved by the Committee and managed in accordance with the department's Chief Executive Instructions and the Committee's financial guidelines.

As part of the Australian Government's appropriation to the department for 2012–13, the ANZCTC administered fund received $12.931 million, of which $9.831 million was allocated to the activities aimed at preparing for, prevention of, responding to and recovering from a terrorism event, including $2.0 million dedicated to countering violent extremism activities. A further $3.1 million was allocated to the operation of ASNet and $1.056 million appropriated specifically for drill-style exercises at the jurisdictional level.
Budget Price: $12.931 million
Actual Price: $12.919 million
Counter-terrorism exercises
Achieved

Counter-terrorism exercises were successfully conducted across all Australian states and territories under the ANZCTC Capability Development Program. These activities strengthened Australia's counter-terrorism capability by involving relevant Australian, state and territory government departments and agencies with responsibility for preparedness, prevention, response and recovery.
Budget Price: $1.056 million
Actual Price: $1.056 million
National aerial firefighting
Achieved

The department worked with the National Aerial Firefighting Centre to provide an effective aerial fire fighting capability. Over the 2012–13 bushfire season the national aerial firefighting fleet consisted of 52 rotary and fixed wing aircraft, including six heavy-lift Erickson Aircranes. It is estimated that the national fleet made over 11,000 drops to deliver more than 20 million litres of suppressant or retardant to fires — double last year's numbers. As in previous years, the national fleet was heavily involved in providing support for flood and storm responses.
Budget Price: $13.997 million
Actual Price: $13.997 million
Countering Violent Extremism to Prevent Terrorism
Substantially achieved

In 2012–13, the department administered the third round of the Building Community Resilience Grants program. This enabled expenditure of $0.413 million in administered funds to support and build community capacity to resist violent extremist influences. A range of projects including research into referral and support mechanisms, development of awareness raising materials and hosting an international workshop on countering online radicalisation were progressed.
Budget Price: $1.515 million
Actual Price: $1.134 million
Specific purpose payment
 
Schools Security Program
Achieved

In 2011-12, 26 non-government schools were awarded funding of $7,859,428 over three years in the third round of this program. In 2012–13, 20 non-government preschools along with two additional non-government schools were awarded funding of $4,627,694 over two years.
Budget Price: $2.812 million
Actual Price: $2.812 million
Special Appropriations
National Firearms Program Implementation Act 1996
Achieved

This program has been finalised, allowing the National Firearms Program Implementation Act 1996 to be repealed.
Budget Price: $0.075 million
Actual Price: Nil

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