The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton today affirmed the Government's ongoing commitment to enhanced border protection arrangements; arrangements that will ensure a safer and more prosperous Australia.
'The planned operational start of the Australian Border Force on 1 July 2015 is an important step towards enhanced border protection arrangements,' Mr Dutton said.
'Much work has already been achieved in preparation for the launch, such as the establishment of the Regional Command model, with its enhanced command and control arrangements, and the formation of dedicated counter-terrorism unit teams at our airports.'
'The border of the future will be far more complex than the environment we face today however, and so the Australian Border Force must be well trained and well equipped if they are to deal with the range of new and emerging threats our nation faces.
'As part of the movement towards the ABF, our Customs and Border Protection Service officers will be permitted to carry personal defensive equipment (PDE), including firearms, while on duty at airports.
'This measure will not only increase the capability of our future Border Force officers, it will also add another layer of deterrence at our borders, and will ensure that the travelling public is as safe as possible.
'This government is serious about border protection. People smugglers, transnational crime gangs and narcotic traffickers should be under no illusion. The government is committed to enhancing our nation's border protection arrangements.'
Customs and Border Protection officers are expected to begin deploying with PDE in the coming year. For more information see the Customs and Border Protection website. To ensure operational effectiveness, details about the number, disposition, and location of armed officers will not be made public.