The budget for the fiscal year 2020/2019 will include an additional $ 570 million ($ 404.36 million) for national security to boost anti-terrorism and espionage operations, The Weekend Australian newspaper reported Saturday.
The additional spending package will be directed to the Australian Security Intelligence Agency, an internal intelligence agency, and the federal police to fund programs such as anti-aircraft technology for police and information gathering in conflict areas outside the country.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday will unveil a budget that is expected to see a sharp increase in spending in an effort to stop his government’s declining popularity.
The killing of 50 people in an attack on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on March 15 sparked controversy over Australia’s willingness to fight extremism.
New Zealand authorities have charged the murder to an Australian suspected of white supremacy and is expected to face further charges when he is brought back before a court on Friday.
Morrison said the allocation of additional security funds was not in response to fears that Australia had allowed extremists to escape.
“No, no, this is in fact a recognition of the growing threat of extremist terrorism under many different names,” he said in televised remarks.
Most of the new spending will go to the federal police, the paper said. The agency is expected to receive an additional A $ 512 million over the next five years to cope with a sevenfold increase in anti-terrorism operations and an eightfold increase in the number of people under surveillance under a security watch list.