Home Affairs Ministry: Peter Dutton just got a major promotion

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull described the move as the "most significant reform of Australia's national intelligence and domestic security arrangements in more than 40 years".

Mr Dutton will become the Home Affairs Minister.

The policy reasons for the reorganisation of portfolios seem less than clear; Turnbull government advisers emphasise greater co-ordination and clearer reporting lines when, for example, the AFP, ASIO and Border Force all report to the same minister.

Mr Turnbull said the changes were largely modelled on Britain's Home Office department.

He also shifted some of the key bodies created to keep security and intelligence agencies in check from his own department to the Attorney-General's.

Dutton said the new job was needed because of the threats posed by domestic and worldwide terrorism. "But the Attorney-General has many other, pressing responsibilities".

"I think we've got one of the most successful security and policing sectors in the world that has been honed over decades of practice and high operational capability", Wesley told Sky News on Tuesday morning.

This was an assertion refuted by the Prime Minister this morning. who said the reforms were warranted: "not because the system is broken, but because our security environment is evolving quickly".

The national security overhaul came as Australia, a staunch ally of the United States, reshapes its counter-terrorism response after a series of lone-wolf attacks and heightened fear of attacks by home-grown militants returning from fighting in the Middle East. It will now report to the Home Affairs Minister.

"The home affairs portfolio is dedicated to keeping Australians safe, to doing everything that we can to defeat the scourge of terrorism", Dutton said.

He said he was "very concerned that these proposals aren't being pushed by our security agencies, they're being pushed by Peter Dutton as the price of him continuing to support Malcolm Turnbull in his job".

Mr Turnbull was joined by Mr Peter Dutton - the big victor from the shake up - and Attorney-General George Brandis and Justice Minister Michael Keenan.

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