New council on law, crime and community safety

Joint press release from Senator George Brandis QC, Attorney-General and the Hon Michael Keenan MP, Minister for Justice

The Attorney-General, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC, and Minister for Justice Michael Keenan have welcomed the decision by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) to establish a Law, Crime and Community Safety Council to sharpen the nation’s focus on fighting crime.

The new council, a key plank in the Coalition’s commitments to improve community safety and fight crime, brings together law, police and emergency management Ministers and replaces the previous standing councils on law and justice, and police and emergency management.

“The Coalition Government is delivering on its priorities for a safe and secure Australia,” Senator Brandis said. “I am pleased that our colleagues in the States and Territories are of one mind with the Commonwealth on the need for this council, and we will continue to work closely to coordinate resources and strategies.”

Minister for Justice Michael Keenan said the involvement of all police commissioners and CEO of the Australian Crime Commission in the new council would ensure that Ministers now had access to the best operational advice, and prepare policy accordingly.

“The establishment of this new council will bring together law makers and law enforcers to ensure we build safe and secure Australian communities, and the fact that the practitioners can now sit down at the same table with policy makers will bring greater focus and clarity to this work,” Mr Keenan said.

The new council will consider matters including:

  • Border security arrangements within Australia;
  • A national approach to organised crime gangs;
  • Coordination of community crime prevention;
  • New ways to ensure cyber safety, especially for children;
  • Best practice approaches to the harmonisation of laws about working with children; and
  • Building the preparedness of Australian communities to natural disasters.

COAG has already tasked the new council with reviewing emergency services personnel across state borders and examining ways to prevent children from being exposed to harmful simulated gambling material.

The Commonwealth will work with the States and Territories to confirm terms of reference for the new council.


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