Hume MP Angus Taylor takes on cyber criminals

Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove congratulated Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security Angus Taylor during the swearing-in ceremony of the new Turnbull ministry at Government House in Canberra last year. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove congratulated Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security Angus Taylor during the swearing-in ceremony of the new Turnbull ministry at Government House in Canberra last year. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Taking on a new portfolio has meant Hume MP Angus Taylor has never been busier.

But he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Mr Taylor has added the title of Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security to his resume.

Since the appointed in December, Mr Taylor has read through mountains of paperwork to get up to speed on his new role.

“This role is about the way the federal government is going after the bad guys and how crooks are using technology to do us harm,” he said.

“I’m also working closely with the Australian Federal Police, who do extraordinary work in going after organised crime, terrorists and foreign government interference.

“Everyone one of us now is seeing evidence of cyber crime.

“It is growing fast and the federal government has an important role to play because much of this is coming from overseas not just locally.”

Mr Taylor said stopping the flow of money from the importation of drugs and firearms by organised criminal gangs was also an important element of his portfolio.

He said taking on the role was a “steep learning curve” but he had enjoyed it so far.

Mr Taylor said he was “surprised” at how often breaches of cyber security occurred in the community.

“I realised how prevalent cyber crime was when I got into this role,” he said.

“It is amazing the number of people I have spoken to in my electorate who say they have had their credit card skimmed, or they’ve had odd transactions in their bank account or they’ve said ‘one of my kids has been subjected to online bullying’ or ‘someone has stolen my identity’.

“It is surprisingly commonplace. I wasn’t as aware of that before I got into the role.”

Mr Taylor said since taking on the role he had spoken and enforced new rules for his children about how to stay safe online.

“Recently I had to deal with a specific incident of online bullying with one of my kids,” he said.

“Because of that, I have learnt that parents need to be aware, talk to their kids and to coach them through it.

“Online bullying can be very silent and impact a child’s life so awareness is crucial. Parents need to know what is going on.”

Mr Taylor said he had learnt more about how criminals use the dark web and crypto-currency to launder money.

“The government has been putting in new legislation to deal with that and we have to keep up with the crooks,” he said.

The Hume MP said he was still trying to juggle his work and life balance.

“Balancing the different areas of my life, which is my electorate, my portfolio, my family whilst also staying healthy, getting enough sleep and exercise, is an enormous challenge,” he said.

“My work is rewarding and my family are forgiving. I try to put aside time for them each week.

“I wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t worthwhile.”

Mr Taylor said his day usually started at 6am and his first task was to deal with any crime or technology issues that had arisen overnight in Australia or from other countries.

Then he deals with any media requests. The rest of his day is a mix of electorate and portfolio work. Mr Taylor said he was lucky that his electorate was close to Canberra so he could juggle both roles.

Mr Taylor said he was still very committed to his role as an MP and would continue to spend time throughout his electorate.