Message from the Chief Commissioner

State Security and Terrorism

Protecting critical infrastructure

Release date: Tue 5 September 2017

Last updated: Thu 14 September 2017

Protecting critical infrastructure 

A nationally agreed definition of critical infrastructure is provided in the National Guidelines for Protecting Critical Infrastructure from Terrorism:

those physical facilities, supply chains, information technologies and communication networks which, if destroyed, degraded or rendered unavailable for an extended period, would significantly impact on the social or economic wellbeing of the nation, or affect Australia's ability to conduct national defence and ensure national security

Although every effort is made to protect critical infrastructure and the community generally from acts of terrorism, no guarantees can ever be made that an attack will not occur. Good business practices such as applying risk management techniques to planning processes, conducting regular reviews of risk assessments and plans, as well as developing and reviewing business continuity plans, will assist businesses in mitigating potential risks.



The Trusted Information Sharing Network

Partnerships between government and businesses that own or operate critical infrastructure is a key part of Australia's critical infrastructure resilience.

The Trusted Information Sharing Network (TISN) is one avenue of engagement for this partnership.

The TISN provides an environment where business and government can share vital information on security issues relevant to the protection of our critical infrastructure and the continuity of essential services in the face of all hazards.

More information is available on the TISN website.



Victorian Critical Infrastructure Resilience Arrangements

Emergencies can have wide ranging impacts upon communities. Many Victorians have experienced the devastation of fire and floods, and the isolation of communities from basic lifelines and needs. In July 2015, Victoria introduced new legislative and policy arrangements to improve critical infrastructure resilience and reduce disruption of services to the community due to emergencies. Resilient critical infrastructure is more likely to endure changes or challenges to social, economic and environmental circumstances.

These new reforms augment existing emergency risk management practices. They also build upon the former terrorism-protection arrangements, moving towards a resilience focus where industry and government consider and plan for the consequences of all emergencies.

Some of these assets are obvious (e.g. electricity, water) and others are less so. In light of the potential consequences that can arise from the disruption of critical infrastructure, the Victorian Government is committed to their protection.

Within Victoria, critical infrastructure is both publicly and privately owned and managed. The owners and operators of critical infrastructure are key to ensuring the security of their assets. Many accept that ensuring security of their assets is a cost of doing business.

Identifying critical infrastructure within Victoria is an ongoing process, and is subject to continuous review. Major components of critical infrastructure will most likely remain fixed, while some other assets may become less critical over time. For example when a new piece of infrastructure is constructed this might provide a level of redundancy for another asset that was previously considered critical.

Further information on Victorian Critical Infrastructure Resilience Arrangements can be obtained from the Emergency Management Victoria website.
 

Resources

National guidelines for the protection of critical infrastructure from terrorism

The National guidelines for the protection of critical infrastructure from terrorism provide the framework for a national, consistent approach for governments and business in protecting critical infrastructure.

Published 2015

Victorian Critical Infrastructure Resilience - via Emergency Management Victoria

 

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