This week Parliament passed the Security of Critical Infrastructure Bill through both Houses to become law. This legislation is designed to protect our essential infrastructure and services from foreign interference and sabotage. As Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee for Intelligence and Security Committee, I’ve overseen recommendations to strengthen the Bill.
Significantly, the government accepted a recommendation by the Committee to investigate Australia’s liquid fuel supply. This is big news for the ongoing security of our nation.
Many people in Canning have expressed concerns about foreign interference and ownership in Australia. As the Chair of Parliament’s Joint Intelligence and Security Committee, I will be leading the push for new legislation to tackle foreign interference and espionage.
Foreign intelligence services are targeting Australia at an unprecedented scale. Their activity is directed against our political systems, commercial interests, critical infrastructure and migrant communities.
There are currently no criminal offences targeting this type of interference, and our existing espionage offences are difficult to prosecute.
We are going to reshape the way our national security agencies investigate and disrupt foreign influence.
This new legislation will:
- Update our criminal laws to target espionage and covert interference by foreign powers
- Ban donations from foreign governments, businesses and organisations being used to influence politics and public debate
- Require anyone receiving a benefit from a foreign power who is trying to influence our political process (like public commentators) to declare their interests or face serious penalties
- Enhance the security of critical public infrastructure against foreign interference, particularly cyber attacks
These measures protect Australian democracy.
There is no place for foreign interference in our country.