The Critical Infrastructure Centre coordinates the management of the complex and evolving national security risks to Australia’s critical infrastructure, with an initial focus on the risks of sabotage, espionage and coercion in telecommunications, electricity, gas, water and ports sectors.

The Centre works with owners, operators and state and territory regulators to identify and mitigate risks in the highest risk assets.

What infrastructure is critical?

Critical infrastructure underpins the functioning of Australia's society and economy and is integral to the prosperity of the nation. It enables the provision of essential services such as food, water, health, energy, communications, transportation and banking. Secure and resilient infrastructure supports productivity and helps to drive the business activity that underpins economic growth. The availability of reliable critical infrastructure promotes market confidence and economic stability, and increases the attractiveness of Australia as a place to invest.

Commonwealth and state and territory governments share the following definition of critical infrastructure:

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

The national security risks to critical infrastructure are complex and have continued to evolve over recent years. Rapid technological change has resulted in critical infrastructure assets having increased cyber connectivity, and greater participation in, and reliance on, global supply chains with many services being outsourced and offshored.