Margaret Stone to replace Vivienne Thom as Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security
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Margaret Stone to replace Vivienne Thom as Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has appointed a new watchdog over Australia's spies.

Margaret Stone will become the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security for a period of five years from August 24.

"Ms Stone has had a distinguished legal career and was a judge of the Federal Court of Australia from 2000 to 2012," Mr Abbott said.

"She has been the Independent Reviewer of Adverse Security Assessments since December 2012."

In this job she analysed the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation assessments that found refugees in Australia to be security risks.

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"She brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the position," Mr Abbott said.

She replaces Vivienne Thom, whose term as Inspector-General ended on July 18.

"Dr Thom has carried out the role with diligence and integrity and I wish her well for the future," Mr Abbott said.

Jake Blight will act as the Inspector-General until Ms Stone starts her new job.

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security's website says the position is done by an independent statutory office holder who reviewed the activities of the six intelligence agencies referred to as the "Australian intelligence community" made up of ASIO, the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, Australian Signals Directorate, Australian Geospatial Intelligence Organisation, Defence Intelligence Organisation and the Office of National Assessments.

Phillip Thomson is a Public Service Reporter at The Canberra Times.