From 11 July, the
Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018, which safeguards Australia's critical infrastructure from national security risks, came into force.
Critical infrastructure is important to all Australians as it provides services that are essential for everyday life such as energy, food, water, transport, communications, health and banking and finance. Secure and resilient infrastructure supports productivity, and helps to drive the business activity that underpins economic growth.
The Act is administered by the Critical Infrastructure Centre, within the Department of Home Affairs.
This Act will ensure the Australian Government knows who owns and operates our most critical infrastructure assets and is able to mitigate any identified national security risks. The measures are asset-specific and ownership neutral and apply to both domestic and foreign owners.
This Act introduces three new measures:
- an asset register, which gives the Government visibility of who owns and controls the assets, enabling better targeting of risk assessments
- the ability to obtain more detailed information from owners and operators of assets in certain circumstances to support the Centre's work, and
- the ability to intervene and issue directions in cases where there are significant national security concerns that cannot be addressed through other means.
Industry, particularly owners and operators of critical infrastructure assets in the electricity, water, ports and gas sectors, should be aware of what the Act means for them and their associated obligations.
The Centre, set up to help owners and operators better understand and manage national security risks to their critical infrastructure assets, is available to assist. The Centre has also released a series of factsheets providing detailed advice to affected owners and operators on their obligations under the Act.
These factsheets, along with further information about the Centre, are available on the Centre's new website:
www.cicentre.gov.au. Owners and operators can also contact the Centre on 02 5127 7387 if they have any queries about the application and operation of the Act.