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High-secret Australian govt information 'bought at second-hand store'

High-secret Australian govt information 'bought at second-hand store'”

Terry Moran, who was PMC secretary from 2008 to 2011, told ABC's 7.30 the discovery was a "great surprise" and whoever was responsible for disposing of the cabinets "must be found and sacked".

As a justification to why they have chosen to publish some of the files, the ABC said that national security and the inner workings of our government affect the lives of all Australians.

Yesterday it was revealed that someone bought two locked filing cabinets from a second-hand store in Canberra, only to later find they contained "thousands of pages" of highly classified cabinet documents spanning five governments and almost a decade.

The ABC described it as "one of the biggest breaches of Cabinet security in Australian history", saying the filing cabinets contained hundreds of documents- majority classified.

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Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's top bureaucrat is conducting an urgent probe after hundreds of classified documents spanning the inner workings of five Australian governments were found in a second-hand furniture store.

Looking to cut spending under Prime Minister Tony Abbott, his top treasury and finance officials considered denying welfare to anyone who's under 30.

Papers also included sensitive documents left in the office of Penny Wong when Labor lost the 2013 election. According to a document in The Cabinet Files, the files should have been destroyed. Not so in Australia, where a leak can happen with the simple sale of a secondhand cabinet.

When ABC began publishing some of the news from the documents this week, it triggered speculation about a possible leak in the current government that Turnbull has led since 2015. Nearly all of the files are classified, some as "top secret" or "AUSTEO", which means they are to be seen by Australian eyes only. The files detailed national security briefs, intelligence on Australia's neighbours and counter-terrorism operations. They were sold off cheaply because they were heavy and no one could find the keys. It was, the network said, "one of the biggest breaches of cabinet security in Australian history". Citing confidential sources, the network says it will "protect their privacy at all costs".

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Australian cabinet papers are usually not released to the public until two decades after they were created.

Gribbin said the arrival of the officers was "at the direction of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet".

One document refers to an audit that revealed that the Australian Federal Police had lost nearly 400 national security files over five years ending 2013. But thanks to those other, more common cabinets, they're being scrutinized now.

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