“The Government’s intention to incorporate at least the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, Border Force and parts of the Immigration Department into a super-security ministry answerable to Peter Dutton is one of the most nonsensical and alarming ideas to come out of Canberra in recent years,’’ Mr Wilkie said.

“For a start, since 2001 a tremendous amount of work has gone into enhancing cooperation between Federal Government agencies, and the last thing they need right now is the administrative and operational upheaval of any deep restructure.

“Moreover, Peter Dutton is controversial figure with an arguable moral compass and poor understanding of the complexities of national security policy. National security is simply not a case of lining the coast with gun boats.

“I can only assume that this whole idea is all to do with trying to jag a half-decent opinion poll or justify a ministerial reshuffle.”

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