House debates

Thursday, 17 February 2022


Transport Security Amendment (Critical Infrastructure) Bill 2022; Second Reading

11:06 am

Photo of Tim WilsonTim Wilson (Goldstein, Liberal Party, Assistant Minister to the Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction) Share this | | Hansard source

I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

The Australian government is committed to ensuring the safety and security of Australians and the infrastructure that they rely upon. This includes Australia's critical aviation and maritime infrastructure, which plays a key role in ensuring the continued economic prosperity, national security and defence of Australia and its citizens.

Our aviation and maritime sectors are an intrinsic part of our national identity. They connect us to the rest of the world and underpin our prosperity as a trading nation. Australians, rightly, expect to be able to travel safely and securely. The transport security regulatory framework has been in place for 17 years, and has served us well, enabling cooperation between government and industry to mitigate the risks of terrorism in the aviation and maritime sectors. But we cannot afford to be complacent.

The risk of terrorism has not diminished. While government and industry must continue to work together to protect aviation and maritime assets from those who would do us physical harm, the threat environment continues to evolve with a broader range of threats, including non-physical threats, emerging. We must respond.

Threats ranging from natural hazards (such as extreme weather events) through to human induced threats (like foreign interference, cyberattacks, and trusted insiders) all have the potential to significantly disrupt aviation and maritime critical infrastructure. Internationally, we have seen cyberattacks on airports and the shipping supply chain. A prolonged and widespread failure in the infrastructure or supporting systems for the aviation or maritime transport sectors would have catastrophic and far-reaching consequences.

The Transport Security Amendment (Critical Infrastructure) Bill 2022 will build upon the aviation and maritime regulatory frameworks and close relationships with industry which have developed over the past 17 years to address the rapidly evolving threat environment facing our critical infrastructure today.

While increased security and resilience will ensure the continued safe and prosperous operation of these key sectors, and by extension the Australian economy, increased protection cannot come at the cost of unwieldy administrative burden. This is why the aviation and maritime critical infrastructure reforms are being progressed through specific amendments separate from the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018—to reduce duplication and administrative burden, and allow industry to focus on their business.

This bill will:

              To maintain the outcomes based framework that provides industry with as much flexibility as possible to account for their individual operating environments, the government will work closely with industry to ensure that existing practices can be recognised, once again keeping administrative burden down.

              This bill demonstrates the government's commitment to the continued protection of Australia's aviation and maritime transport infrastructure. It provides the strong support needed to allow Australian industry to grow and compete in the global market. It allows Australians to have uninterrupted access to essential services and ensures that our society and living standard continue to be the envy of the world. It ensures that Australia continues to be a safe, prosperous and wealthy nation.

              I commend this bill.

              Debate adjourned.