Dutton says govt changes bad for security

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An overhaul of several government bodies ordered by the new prime minister will make Australia less safe, the opposition leader says.

But Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus says such a claim is ridiculous and wrong.

Anthony Albanese announced this week that the Australian Federal Police would be moved out of the Home Affairs portfolio. Instead, the police force will be overseen by the attorney-general's department.

Home affairs was created by the previous coalition government to bring together law enforcement and security agencies into one department.

The home affairs department, to be headed by new minister Clare O'Neil, will take over natural disaster response and mitigation.

But Peter Dutton - who oversaw home affairs before becoming defence minister under the previous government - said separating the AFP from the department would reduce Australia's capacity to track criminals.

The changes were made to appease Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus who wants to oversee the police force, Mr Dutton told 2GB on Thursday.

"Anthony Albanese might be making Mark Dreyfus happy but it's going to make us less safe as a country," he told 2GB on Thursday.

"I've got a real concern as to what will happen in the budget for these agencies ... you shouldn't be spending less on law enforcement at the moment."

Mr Dreyfus told AAP the government always put Australia's interests and national security first.

"Any suggestion to the contrary is ridiculous and wrong, and the opposition leader should reflect on his behaviour," he said.

"The government has complete confidence in the ability of the AFP to fight crime and keep Australians safe."

Labor has for some time believed the AFP best fit under the attorney-general as its role is to enforce Commonwealth criminal law.

The Australian Federal Police Association has backed the move.

The Law Council welcomed Mr Dreyfus' appointment, saying he appreciated the weight it carried and was committed to promoting the rule of law and administration of justice.

Former home affairs minister Karen Andrews said she did not want to see the changes impact upon security.

"Ensuring the security of Australians is the number one priority of any government ... that's why we created the home affairs portfolio in the first place and placed the agencies in it that we did," she said in a statement to AAP.

"I would hate to see Australia's law enforcement capabilities negatively impacted by Labor's changes, which look to have been made with ministerial egos in mind, not national security."

The new government's overhaul also includes a department for employment and workplace relations with climate change, energy, environment and water to come under one roof.

The health department will be rebranded as the Department of Health and Aged Care.

Finance will gain responsibility for data policy and deregulation, along with the Digital Transformation Agency.

The prime minister announced the reshuffle, which will take effect from July 1, after the swearing in of his full ministry on Wednesday.

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