Taskforce on Offshore Maritime Security
In 2004 the Taskforce on Offshore Maritime Security reported to Parliament. The Taskforce recognised that Customs and Border Protection and Defence have significant offshore maritime patrol, response and interdiction capabilities. The Taskforce recommended, and the Government accepted, that a coordinated Australian Government agency should take direct responsibility for offshore maritime security.
As a consequence, the Joint Offshore Protection Command was created to act as the central body of Australia's overall counter-terrorism effort. The fundamental surveillance and response functions of both Coastwatch (the civil element) and NORCOM (Northern Command, the principal military element based in Darwin) fell under the umbrella of Joint Offshore Protection Command.