Federal Politics

Rudd opens new ASIO HQ in Canberra

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has opened the massive new headquarters of domestic spy agency ASIO.

Mr Rudd says the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation's "grand new building" in Canberra will help the agency protect Australians from security threats.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus opened the Ben Chifley Building as the new ASIO headquarters ...
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus opened the Ben Chifley Building as the new ASIO headquarters in Canberra. Photo: Andrew Meares

"The business of national security is a very hard business. It's hard work, it requires much dedication," the Prime Minister said at the official opening on Tuesday.

The building, which will also house a new cybersecurity centre, has been named the Ben Chifley Building, after the former Labor prime minister who set up ASIO in 1949.

ASIO's new headquarters in Canberra.
ASIO's new headquarters in Canberra. Photo: Jay Cronan

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott also attended the opening, saying both Liberal and Labor governments supported ASIO's work.

"We do have real enemies, we do face real threats," he said.

"Some of them are internal and they do need to be monitored."

The building has been plagued by construction delays and cost overruns, and was the centre of claims - denied by security officials - that Chinese hackers had stolen the classified building plans.

ASIO Director-General David Irvine says his organisation will progressively move into the building over the coming months.

AAP

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