What is the point of a National Security Committee that doesn’t regularly listen to the heads of its principal security agencies?

The sacking of the directors-general of Australia’s security agencies as permanent attendees at the country’s National Security Committee (NSC) meetings is an issue of grave concern.

Recent news of the decision – which was carried out some time ago – leads to serious questions about the Albanese Labor government’s commitment to Australia’s defence and national security.

Instead of the heads of the premier security agencies, the government has appointed the Climate Change Department Secretary David Fredericks as a new regular attendee to the National Security Committee of Cabinet.

This government’s obsession with climate change clearly outweighs the need for security professionals at these meetings!

The NSC is the premier standing committee of the Cabinet. It is authorised to make decisions about Australia’s national defence and security without reference back to the full government Cabinet.

While various cabinet ministers join the NSC, it has been a long tradition that the heads of various agencies, including the Defence Forces and the security bodies attend its meetings.

Having been a member of the NSC, former Defence Minister Kevin Andrews can attest that the regular advice of the heads of the security agencies is invaluable.

“The idea that they are only invited to attend when thought appropriate is misguided, to say the least,” he said.

“What is the point of an NSC that doesn’t regularly listen to the heads of Australia’s main intelligence agencies?

“Why was this decision taken? No explanation has been given,” said Mr Andrews.

When asked by Senator James Paterson, Foreign Minister Penny Wong claimed that “we don’t comment on the workings of the NSC” even though she was queried about its composition, not its workings.

In fact, she claimed that it was beneath Senator Paterson even to ask her questions about the issue! On which planet does this woman live when not in Canberra?

It has been reported that the decision was recommended by the Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Glyn Davis, the nation’s top public servant and the principal advisor to the prime minister.

Davis had fostered close relations with China in his previous position as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Melbourne (2005-2018). Of the university’s 52,000 students, 41 percent are from overseas, a large number from China.

Prior to her appointment by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews as Governor of the state, Davis’ partner, Margaret Gardner was vice chancellor of RMIT (2005-2014) and Monash University (2014-2023).

There are also indications that trade & commerce has taken precedence over national security.

The visit last week by Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, focused on trade issues, with the Australian government announcing that it would lift restrictions on the import of wind turbine equipment.

So now we will buy even more of China’s climate-based products and become even more dependent on them – smart move guys!

It also expressed hopes, on a quid pro quo basis, that Chinese Communist Party (CCP) tariffs on Australian wine exports would be withdrawn.

So now we should presumably be eternally grateful to the CCP for dropping the tariffs that should never have been imposed in the first place and were totally illegal under WTO rules!

While trade is important, the national government’s first priority should be the country’s defence and security, but this government is totally failing in all aspects of that objective.

A few weeks ago, the head of the domestic security agency ASIO, Mike Burgess warned that a former Member of Parliament had been a spy for an unnamed foreign regime. The regime is widely believed to be the CCP.

According to Mr. Burgess, the unnamed country had assembled a special “A-team” – an Australian team – to recruit domestic spies, including MPs.

“Several years ago, the A-team successfully cultivated and recruited a former Australian politician,” he said.

“This politician sold out their country, party and former colleagues to advance the interests of the foreign regime. At one point, the former politician even proposed bringing a Prime Minister’s family member into the spies’ orbit. Fortunately, that plot did not go ahead but other schemes did.”

Another Australian, an aspiring politician, provided insights into the factional dynamics of his party, analysis of a recent election and the names of up-and-comers – presumably so the A-team could target them too.

Is the government interested in hearing this type of advice on a regular basis?

Obviously not!

Removing Mr. Burgess and the head of ASIS, Kerri Hartland as regular attendees at the NSC sends the wrong messages to other nations such as Communist China.

The record of the CCP interfering in Australian affairs is beyond dispute. This is not the time to be complacent about our defence and national security.

It should be clear to everyone that Albanese and his far-left comrades are far more inclined to support Communist China than they are democratic countries like Israel.

Their early Marxist indoctrination is showing through with all the same centralisation of power and restrictions on free speech goals that are consistent with failed socialist regimes around the world.

They need to be stopped – and the sooner, the better!

Thanks to The Epoch Times and especially The Hon. Kevin Andrews who contributed greatly to this article. Mr Andrews was in the Australian Parliament from 1991 to 2022 and held various cabinet posts, including Minister for Defence.