Matthew Franklin & Patrick Walters; 8/4/08
Kevin Rudd is poised to dump Labor’s post-September 11 plan to establish a US-style department of homeland security, amid warnings the administrative upheaval involved would be so great it would put national security at risk. It is understood next Tuesday’s federal budget will not include any money for the proposal, nor for Labor’s plan to create a coast guard. Mr Rudd shelved the proposals after his election, pending a review into the administrative consequences being prepared by former Defence Department head Ric Smith. Mr Smith’s report, due at the end of June, is expected to put the case against the creation of a new department that would encompass domestic security agencies including the Australian Federal Police, ASIO and Customs. Several sources have confirmed there is little appetite for change within senior levels of the government.