Protecting Australia’s critical infrastructure

The Morrison Government is committed to protecting Australia’s critical infrastructure to secure the essential goods and services all Australians rely on – everything from electricity and water, to healthcare and groceries.

We want to ensure that our key sectors have the right policies and capabilities in place to bolster their resilience and ability to act in an emergency. A significant disruption to our critical infrastructure could have catastrophic consequences to Australia’s economy, security and sovereignty.

The Government has today released a Consultation Paper: Protecting Critical Infrastructure and Systems of National Significance. This package of reforms will strengthen the security and resilience of Australia’s critical infrastructure.

Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton said the evolving threat landscape poses additional and ongoing risks to Australia’s networks, systems and capabilities and it is vital we protect the essential services all Australians rely on.

“We cannot be complacent. Owners and operators of critical infrastructure are facing evolving threats including increasing cyber attacks. An incident involving Australia’s critical infrastructure has the potential to cause significant consequences across our economy, security and sovereignty,” Mr Dutton said.

“Security is a shared responsibility. Australia is more resilient and secure when we work together. Businesses and all levels of government have a role to play and we are committed to building on this partnership.

“In an emergency, Australians expect the Government to act, which is what we will do.

“By strengthening and better protecting critical infrastructure from threats, Australians can be assured that Government and industry are working together to do what is necessary to keep Australians safe and protect our economy.”

The Government has agreed the reforms will apply to an expanded set of critical infrastructure sectors and comprise of three key elements:

  • a security obligation for critical infrastructure entities;
  • enhanced cyber security obligations for entities most important to the nation;
  • Government assistance to critical infrastructure in response to significant malicious cyber activity.

The Government invites industry, academia, and state and territory governments to consider the Consultation Paper. The consultation period will run until 16 September 2020.

Further information on the consultation is available here​.

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