Brandis' infrastructure security bill off to committee

Report fast-tracked to Q1 2018

Australia's attorney-general George Brandis won't get his critical infrastructure register kicked off this year: the legislation was introduced late last week, but immediately sent off to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.

The committee has been asked to provide its report into the bill in the first quarter of 2018.

As we reported in October, the main aim of the law is to create a honeypot register of critical infrastructure assets to be held by the Attorney General's Department.

The AGD's argument for the register is that companies often keep ownership data out of the public eye as far as possible.

“Foreign involvement in Australia’s critical infrastructure plays an important and beneficial role in supporting our national economic growth,” the department's media statement explains.

“However, while recognising its many benefits, increased foreign involvement in Australia’s critical infrastructure means our critical national assets are more exposed than ever to sabotage, espionage and coercion.”

Initially, electricity, ports, water, and gas assets will be regulated. ®

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