First Australian Border Force Commissioner Selected; His Hands-On Experience In Police Force Will Help

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IN PHOTO: A boat carrying suspected illegal immigrants is photographed from a Border Protection Command aircraft in Australian waters in this handout photo taken September 12, 2009. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard unveiled a new asylum policy on July 6, 2010 aimed at allying voter fears ahead of elections about rising boat people numbers, with the centrepiece a possible East Timor processing centre. REUTERS/Australian Customs and Border Protection Service

Customs CEO Roman Quaedvlieg is all set to be the first commissioner of Australian Border Force (ABF). The Federal Government has made the announcement on Thursday.

As ABF officials begin exercising its duties on July 1, Mr. Quaedvlieg will be given the responsible for protecting Australia's physical frontline.

Mr. Quaedvlieg held several important positions at the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Crime Commission before heading the Customs and Border Protection. He began his career with the Queensland Police Service. Everyone in the sector appreciated Mr. Quaedvlieg’s appointment, as he has hands on experience with the police force. Important to mention that ABF officials will enjoy much greater powers than what the Customs or Immigration officers have at the moment. Besides the licence to carry guns, they will also be allowed to gather intelligence reports and detain offenders.

But a section of AFP officials have reportedly worried that the new recruits in the ABF are not properly trained to handle firearms. They are also afraid whether the new ABF officers would have enough resources to deal with difficult situations.

The new recruits will be posted at the airports, shipping hubs, immigration detention centres and on the high seas. The Federal Government announced its decision to create a new agency as a part of a merger between Customs and Border Protection and the Immigration Department 12 months ago.

Mr. Quaedvlieg will share his office with the chief of the Defence Force, ASIO's director-general and the AFP's commissioner and will have a term of statutory five-year.

The commissioner will reportedly need "outstanding leadership" and "experience in managing complex organisational change,” as per the official job description.

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