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​Australian government to form super intelligence agency

CrimTrac and the Australian Crime Commission will be merged to enable them to share information and intelligence accurately.

Two of Australia's law enforcement and criminal information agencies, CrimTrac and the Australian Crime Commission (ACC), have been given the green light by the Law, Crime, and Community Safety Council to merge.

As part of the merger, CrimTrac IT specialists and ACC's intelligence analysts will work together, sharing information concerning national security threats.

Currently, CrimTrac is responsible for maintaining national information-sharing solutions for Australia's police and enforcement agencies to share information across state and territory jurisdictions, while the ACC is the country's existing national criminal intelligence agency.

Minister for Justice Michael Keenan said the merger will enable the two law enforcement agencies to share information and intelligence accurately, which would improve their response to any immediate threats.

"In this security landscape we must provide ample and instant information that identifies the patterns and associations that can help detect and disrupt significant threats," he said.

"We don't want to be in a situation where we fail in our duty to protect our nation because terrorists could share information quicker than we could."

According to Keenan, the Australian Institute of Criminology's functions will also be merged into the ACC.

Keenan said legislation to facilitate the move will be listed for debate in the next week of Parliament. The agency is expected to be up and running by July 1, 2016, with Keenan noting that this will ensure each jurisdiction sufficient time to make necessary legislative changes.