Australia reviewed its critical infrastructure protection arrangements as early as 2009. The review showed that there was a need to improve resilience and risk management in these areas in order to be able to continue providing essential services in the future.
Australia has set up its own Critical Infrastructure Centre in the Ministry for Home Affairs and, in 2018, passed the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act including compliance strategies. The dedicated Critical Infrastructure Centre coordinates the management of complex national security risks for Australia’s critical infrastructure. The focus here is on the risks of sabotage, espionage, and coercion in the areas of telecommunications, electricity, gas, water, and ports. Critical infrastructure is considered to be any physical facilities, supply chains, information technologies, and communications networks that support the functioning of the Australian society and economy and are an integral part of the nation’s prosperity. This includes the provision of basic services such as food, water, transport, healthcare, energy, communications, transport, and banking. The strategy for protecting critical infrastructure is based on experiences gained to date and on international best practices.
The Critical Infrastructure Centre works with owners, operators, and government and territorial regulators to identify and mitigate threats posed to the most high-risk assets. In 2020, both the strategy and its success will be subject to a comprehensive review to evaluate the measures implemented to date.