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Attorney-General's Portfolio Budget measures 2016-17

3 May 2016

Joint media release

Attorney-General
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Senator The Hon George Brandis QC

Minister for Justice
Minister assisting the Prime Minister for Counter Terrorism
The Hon Michael Keenan MP

Countering Violent Extremism

The first, and most important, priority for any Government is to keep its citizens safe. That is why we are continuing to invest in measures to boost the safety of all Australians.

The Turnbull Government is investing a further $5 million to support communities impacted by violent extremism and prevent young people from falling for the allure of violent extremists online.

The Government will invest in a national helpline for families who fear their children are being radicalised.

Our investment will enable the helpline currently being developed by NSW to be rolled out across the country to help families and other frontline workers such as teachers and community leaders to seek help for young people at risk of online grooming by terrorists.

This $4 million commitment will be supported by another $1 million for the e-Safety Commissioner to strengthen Australia's prevention strategies and reach young people before they become vulnerable to the evil encouraged by terrorism.

This complements the work underway in many states and territories to create pathways for family and friends concerned about someone they love, to seek help and advice as well as access to professional services.

It will help ensure that support is available across the nation and frontline workers get the training and resources they need to safeguard our youth from those that seek to exploit them.

Funding for the Office of the Children's e-Safety Commissioner to expand digital programs will equip young people and their families with the skills to recognise and remove themselves from potential harm online, including risks associated with violent extremism.

We cannot afford to wait until people have already radicalised and turned to violence. We must reduce the risk of violent extremism by intervening early and tackling the root of the problem.

This is about harm prevention – we have a responsibility to safeguard vulnerable Australians from terrorist groups and putting themselves or others at risk.

That is why this Government has increased its investment in Countering Violent Extremism programs to more than $40 million over four years.

More information about the Government's work to keep Australia safe can be found at the Living Safe Together website.

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

The Government has decided not to proceed with the new arrangements for privacy and Freedom of Information (FOI) regulation, including the proposed changes to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).

Accordingly, the OAIC will receive ongoing funding of $37 million over four years to continue its privacy and FOI functions. FOI funding is provided on the basis of the streamlined approach to FOI reviews adopted by the OAIC since the 2014–15 Budget.

Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians and Same-Sex Marriage Plebiscite

The Government has made provision in the Contingency Reserve of $160 million for the referendum on Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians. The Government has also made provision in the Contingency Reserve of $160 million for the plebiscite on same-sex marriage.