Some changes in the new security bill submitted to parliament last week are welcome, but others require careful scrutiny, especially when the rights of children are at stake.
There were 8,000 forced relocations in Australia's immigration detention system in a nearly two-year span. New research shows how distressing and destabilising these movements are for refugees.
From high staff turn-overs to filling the appeals tribunal with political allies, the Home Affairs department needs to clean its mess.
Mike Burgess, previously head of the Australian Signals Directorate, has a solid history in the intelligence area and Labor has welcomed the choice.
Similar concerns were raised 40 years ago when the Department of Defence was formed, but the decision to merge several agencies is now held up for its strategic vision.
With parliament sitting next week, the home affairs minister is pressuring Labor to support a repeal of the medevac law. But the law has worked just as it was intended.
Australians should be concerned about any shift to an intelligence model that is based on the introduction of greater powers on the one hand, and less oversight and governance on the other.
Any sign of hubris must be avoided, but a prudent opposition – especially with polls suggesting it's soon likely to be the executive – needs to be well prepared for the first days of power.
He is not, however, being accompanied by Home Affairs
Minister Peter Dutton, who leads much of the campaigning on the issue.
If the government really intends to “reopen” Christmas Island in any major way, it could find itself spending a lot of money there on few if any people.
Australia's immigration department doesn't keep a record of the number of people applying for asylum at airports. This means there is no oversight over the treatment of those seeking protection.
After Shorten was briefed by security officials and with enormous political pressure coming from the government, Labor moved back from its support of the bill as it has come out of the Senate.
An analysis of budget documents suggests that federal funding for community-based, counter-terrorism programs has dried up.
With polling showing Labor is vulnerable on security issues, the opposition leader has the difficult task of distinguishing his party from the government while not being wedged from the right.
The Greens will try to move a no confidence motion against the home affairs minister, but the numbers are not there for it to succeed - proving government members are united.
Australia's Migration Act allows for ministerial discretion in cases such as the controversial granting of tourist visas to four au pairs - but there remain questions around responsible government.
Where possible, Opposition leader Bill Shorten tries to stick like glue to the government on national security issues, for reasons of politics as well as substance.
Intelligence agencies must be incorruptible and 'speak truth to power' to be of any benefit to policymakers and the communities they serve.
The recent creation of the Home Affairs super portfolio has added another four agencies to the national intelligence community. Here's how they work together.
The fine distinction between expanding ASD powers but it not collecting intelligence on Australians is where the confusion lies, and that will need to be carefully laid out.