Tony Abbott says he was advised against creation of home affairs super-ministry

Tony Abbott has revealed he had been advised against the invention of a brand new British-style home affairs ministry  after he had been prime minister and also signaled that his successor Malcolm Turnbull should create any new guidance supporting the “massive bureaucratic change”.

Mr Abbott, who has just returned from a week-long vacation in Croatia, took to the airwaves on Wednesday to criticise the production of the super-ministry, which will not be in operation until next year.  

Tony Abbott has revealed he was advised against the super-ministry.
Tony Abbott has revealed he was advised from the super-ministry.     Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

In an interview with 2GB’s Ben Fordham, Mr Abbott  said the identical notion was set to his government although officials suggested against it.

“The information back then was that we didn’t need the kind of massive bureaucratic change that it seems the prime minister needs in mind,” he explained.

“I can only assume the information has changed since then – no doubt the prime minister will provide us more info in due course about the official information that he’s needed on this,” he explained.

He defended his ongoing criticism of the Coalition, saying it’s “directly” and “duty” as a former prime minister to talk out.

On Tuesday Mr Turnbull announced the production of a home affairs portfolio blending immigration, border protection and the national security agencies.

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The jumbo department will include the Australian Federal Police, spy agency ASIO, the newly established Border Force, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre or AUSTRAC and the Office of Transport Security.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced Peter Dutton, second from left, will become the Minister for Home Affairs.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced Peter Dutton, second from left, will become the Minister for Home Affairs.   Photo: Andrew Meares

Peter Dutton was announced as the minister-designate to oversee the modifications caused to come into effect by 1 July, 2018.

During his interview on Wednesday, Mr Abbott also took aim at the timetable.  

“It appears that he’s definitely going to need to wait several months to actually be the minister, at the moment he is minister-designate as opposed to the true minister which is a bit of an awkward position to maintain,” he explained.

Relations strained

Mr Abbott refused to say whether he had spoken to Mr Greiner.

“I am not going to hand over my mobile log if that’s what you’re asking for,” he explained.  

And he insisted that when he desired to speak with Mr Turnbull, they have every other phone’s numbers. “When we will need to speak to each other we do.”