Wednesday, 15 December 2021
Media release

Consultation on reforms to enhance the security of Australia's critical infrastructure

The Morrison Government has commenced public consultation on proposed legislation designed to enhance the resilience of Australia’s critical infrastructure to security risks, including cyber-attacks.

Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews said two concurrent public consultations were now underway as part of the Morrison Government’s commitment to engage with stakeholders, industry experts and the broader Australian community on important changes to our laws.

“All of our critical infrastructure assets and systems are attractive targets for cyber criminals and other malicious actors, who can harm the essential services Australians rely on,” Minister Andrews said.

“Over the past two years, we’ve seen increasing and escalating attacks on Australia’s critical infrastructure sectors. This calls for a holistic, collaborative response from Government and industry.”

The consultations are seeking views on proposed amendments to the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018, the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 and the Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Act 2003, which will all support owners and operators of critical infrastructure to increase Australia’s cyber security.

“The consultations launched today will ensure our legislation is well-informed, fit-for-purpose, and does not impose an undue regulatory burden on industry, while ensuring the safety, security and long-term economic prosperity of Australia,” Minister Andrews said.

The first consultation seeks feedback on the Exposure Draft of the Security Legislation Amendment (Critical Infrastructure Protection) Bill 2022. This Bill is the next step in the Government’s important reforms to the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018, providing an enhanced all hazards security framework to improve the security and resilience of our critical infrastructure sectors.

The other consultation seeks feedback on the Exposure Draft of the Transport Security Amendment (Critical Infrastructure) Bill 2022. This Bill proposes complementary changes to Australia’s aviation and maritime security laws, designed to provide enhanced protection for our aviation and maritime domains.

Together, these Bills will deliver an enhanced critical infrastructure security framework that will mitigate risks, including cyber risks, and ensure the essential services Australians rely on are resilient and well protected.

Both Exposure Drafts are available on the Home Affairs website​. Public submissions on both will be accepted until Tuesday 1 February 2022.