Northern Approaches Review
In 1983, following a review by the Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence, responsibility for managing and coordinating civil surveillance transferred to the Australian Federal Police with funding for the program divided amongst client agencies.
In 1987, the then Minister for Transport commissioned a review of civil surveillance arrangements. The report, entitled Northern Approaches, was delivered to government in April 1988. The findings of this report provided the foundation for future civil surveillance activity.
One of the main recommendations of the report suggested that the coastal and offshore surveillance be coordinated by a newly created and independent agency, the Australian Maritime Safety and Coastwatch Agency. The Government decided against creating this agency; instead the Coastwatch function was placed within then Australian Customs Service.