Prime Minister Scott Morrison will today lay the foundation for the Federal Government’s re-election strategy with a speech that puts a priority on Australians’ safety and security and warns of “new and emerging” threats.
Mr Morrison will release a package of policies targeting everything from foreign interference and border protection to domestic violence, in a speech to the National Press Club, as politicians make their way to Canberra for the first parliamentary sitting week of the year, starting tomorrow.
It comes as the latest Newspoll shows the Government is still on track for a significant defeat at the election.
It is trailing Labor 47 to 53 on a two-party preferred basis, the same result as a fortnight ago, despite the Government’s sustained attack on Labor’s controversial franking credits policy.
The Government faces a possible defeat this week on independent MP Kerryn Phelps’ Bill that would give doctors more power to approve medical transfers of sick asylum seekers from Manus Island and Nauru to Australia.
Labor has said it would look at advice from security agencies against the proposed changes as the party searches for “middle ground” with the Government.
Mr Morrison will use his speech to emphasise the importance of keeping the Government’s border protection settings in place.
“Operation Sovereign Borders has been one of Australia’s greatest national security policy successes,” Mr Morrison will say in his speech. “As the architect, I know what compromise and poorly thought-through change can do to this policy. Labor proposes to do both, again.”
Mr Morrison will warn that Australia is facing “new and emerging threats” from the global economy, terrorism, the drug trade and online predators.
“Our Government has demonstrated we have the mettle to make the right calls on our nation’s security, repairing our borders, investing in our defence forces, deporting violent criminals, taking on domestic violence, disrupting terrorist attacks, and restoring powers and resources to our police, security and intelligence agencies,” Mr Morrison will say.
He will also unveil $78 million in new funding to help women and children affected by domestic violence.
The investment includes a $60 million grants program for eligible organisations to provide new emergency accommodation facilities for those escaping domestic and family violence.