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207 words - July 25, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
"National security requires looking beyond the horizon. National security requires the best people and equipment. It also requires financial resources. Tough decisions have to be made in accordance with priorities."
On July 23, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd inaugurated the Ben Chifley Buiding, the brand new and "state-of-art" – according to Director-General David Irvine – headquarters of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) which was created in 1949 by the government of then-Prime Minister Chifley.
Though its "hard work" on protecting Australia's national security started in the cold war era, today and tomorrow's threats of espionage and terrorism still require the ASIO "to adapt and evolve," said Mr. Rudd, especially in the field of cyber-activity with the simultaneous opening of the new Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC).
Since Mr. Rudd's first government in 2008, Australia's national security budget has increased by 15% from AUD 28.6 bn in 2008-09 to AUD 32.3 bn (USD 29.6 bn) in 2013-14. "Over the same period," said Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus, "the average staffing level for ASIO has increased from 1349 to 1778, a 32% increase." Five years ago, Mr. Rudd said that the first priority of his government was the nation's security.
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