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The Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP & Brendan Thomas

Attorney-General & AUSTRAC CEO
Release of Australia’s Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing National Risk Assessments

Tuesday, 9 July 2024

The National Press Club of Australia

The Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP, Attorney-General & Brendan Thomas, AUSTRAC CEO, will Address the National Press Club of Australia on "Release of Australia’s Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing National Risk Assessments".

A financial system free from criminal abuse. That’s the vision of AUSTRAC, the country’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) regulator and Financial Intelligence Unit.

Achieving this vision requires government, law enforcement and private sector all working together. This is key to prevent terrorist activities and protect the community from serious crimes stemming from money laundering, including drug trafficking, scams, tax fraud and child exploitation.

However, with criminals constantly looking for new ways to launder their money and fund extremist violence, they need to remain vigilant and their methods need to evolve.

Come and hear the Attorney-General, the Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP and AUSTRAC CEO Brendan Thomas, as they provide insights into the most significant money laundering and terrorism financing threats and vulnerabilities facing Australia now.

Launching two new National Risk Assessments (NRAs), they will highlight how these risks fit within the national context and speak to the key findings of the NRAs.

These assessments offer law enforcement, government and international organisations with contemporary information to inform policy and operational responses to the threats identified in Australia. These are also important insights for industry, specifically the 17,500 businesses AUSTRAC currently regulates, to protect themselves and the broader community from criminal exploitation.

These NRAs are the result of more than a year’s work across AUSTRAC’s Intelligence division, and involved extensive engagement with other domestic agencies, industry and international financial intelligence units.

Their release comes as the Australian Government seeks to strengthen Australia’s AML/CTF regime through a range of reforms. These reforms would include certain high-risk services including those provided by lawyers, accountants, trust and company service providers, real estate professionals and dealers in precious stones and metals under the legislation.

The reforms and these risk assessments are an important milestone ahead of Australia’s upcoming evaluation by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) – the global AML/CTF watchdog.

Don’t miss this chance to hear first-hand what this means for all Australians and how they will assist in this fight going forward.

BIO: The Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP

The Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP was appointed Attorney-General of the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 June 2022.

As Attorney-General Mark has been responsible for legislation establishing a National Anti-Corruption Commission, a new Administrative Review Tribunal, landmark reforms to the Family Law Act, stronger privacy protections, new whistleblower protections, Australia’s first Modern Slavery Commissioner and outlawing the Nazi salute and other hate symbols. Mr Dreyfus has established merit-based appointments in the Attorney-General’s portfolio and led the creation of a National Firearms Register.

Mark is a passionate defender of the rule of law, freedom of the press, a strong advocate for social justice and believes in creating a sustainable economy and environment for future generations.

Mark was first elected to the House of Representatives as the Member for Isaacs in November 2007. He served as a minister between 2010 and 2013, including as Attorney-General.

Prior to entering Parliament Mark was a barrister at the Victorian Bar, and was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1999.  He appeared for, and advised, Federal, State and local governments and appeared in a number of landmark cases in the High Court and the Federal Court, including the Stolen Generations litigation.

BIO: Brendan Thomas

In January 2024, Brendan Thomas began his 5-year appointment as CEO of AUSTRAC, Australia’s financial intelligence unit and anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) regulator.

Brendan is AUSTRAC’s representative on the ACIC Board, the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce CEO Board, and the Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Forum. In view of AUSTRAC’s role as a member of the National Intelligence Community (NIC), Brendan is also responsible for agency head-level engagement with the Office of National Intelligence and other NIC members.

Brendan is a Wiradjuri man, with significant experience in leading, designing and delivering major public services, especially in the criminal and civil justice systems in NSW, and in leading organisational reform.

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