The Turnbull Government has passed legislation to safeguard Australia's critical infrastructure and enhance the capability of the Critical Infrastructure Centre.
The Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018 strengthens our national security posture against threats of espionage and foreign interference.
The Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton said these new laws strengthen our ability to manage the challenges in the electricity, gas, ports and water sectors while supplementing existing federal, state and territory regulations.
"This legislation establishes a register of Australia's highest-risk critical infrastructure assets, including information on asset ownership, access and control," Mr Dutton said.
"It introduces a ministerial directions power that allows the Government to take action where a risk cannot otherwise be mitigated which will significantly enhance the Critical Infrastructure Centre's capacity to assess and manage complex risks."
Foreign involvement in Australia's critical infrastructure plays an important and beneficial role in supporting our national economic growth. However, while recognising its many benefits, increased foreign involvement means our critical infrastructure assets are more exposed than ever to sabotage, espionage and coercion which is why this legislation is essential.
The Act is the product of extensive consultation with government and industry stakeholders. It was also the subject of an inquiry by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. The Government accepted all of the Committee's recommendations.