We call on the Committee to resist the headlong rush to replace the NCA but undertake a comprehensive examination of the proposed replacement organisation. The arguments put forward to justify the NCA’s replacement do not hold water. Experience strongly suggests that the replacement commission would be less rather than more effective than the NCA in investigating crime. The growing international dimension of organised crime argues for the strengthening of the NCA’s independent status, not its destruction.
It is clear that there need to be co-ordinated changes to both law enforcement and other policies to tackle the transnational organised crime that menaces Australia. Replacing the NCA is not a priority task. Legislation to adjust the NCA Act to reflect its most recent (and thorough) review was passed only last year. Of much greater urgency are other measures agreed to by Heads of Government in April such as the development of “the mutual recognition of a national set of powers for cross-border investigations covering controlled operations and assumed identities legislation; electronic surveillance devices; and witness anonymity”.