Security of Critical Infrastructure Bill 2017
The submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (the Committee) regarding its review of the Security of Critical Infrastructure Bill 2017 (the Bill) was prepared by the Law Council and acknowledges the assistance of its Foreign Investment Committee of Business Law Section (the FI Committee) and National Criminal Law Committee.
The Bill, if enacted, would create two new measures designed to strengthen the Government’s capacity to manage the national security risks of espionage, sabotage and coercion arising from foreign involvement in Australia’s critical infrastructure, with minimal regulatory impact and maintaining Australia’s open investment policy. The Bill will regulate approximately 140 assets across four high-risk sectors: electricity, water, gas and ports.
The two measures are:
- a) Creation of a ‘last resort’ Ministerial directions power, which would allow the Minister to issue a direction to an owner or operator of a critical infrastructure asset to mitigate significant national security risks; and
- b) Creation of a critical assets register (the Register) that will provide the Australian Government with information relating to who owns, controls and has access to critical infrastructure assets most at risk from espionage, sabotage and coercion.
You can read the full submission below.