Ministers for the Department of Communications and the Arts

Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield

Minister for Communications

Minister for the Arts

Manager of Government Business in the Senate

Data Retention Grants Program open to industry

7 January 2016

Joint Media Statement

Deputy Prime Minister, Acting Attorney-General, Warren Truss

The Australian Government has announced the opening of a grants program to provide up to $128.4 million to assist the telecommunications industry with the upfront costs of meeting their data retention obligations. The Data Retention Industry Grants Program consists of a single funding round open to telecommunications service providers who have data retention obligations.

The program delivers on the Government's commitment to make a financial contribution to service providers' up front data retention costs, and includes support for smaller providers. The design of the program has benefited from consultation with the telecommunications industry, particularly through the Implementation Working Group.

Applications open today and close at 5.00pm (AEDT) on Tuesday 23 February 2016. Assisting industry with the implementation of the data retention obligations remains a key priority for the Government.

Metadata is used in nearly every counter-terrorism, counter-espionage and organised and major crime investigation. It is also essential for the investigation of child abuse and child pornography offences, which are frequently carried out online.

Telecommunications companies with data retention obligations are required to retain limited communications data for two years. Service providers with questions about the grants program, including the program guidelines, eligibility advice and the application form can visit or contact the help line for potential applicants on 13 28 46, Monday to Friday between 8am–8pm (AEDT) with the exception of Australian National Public Holidays.

Media Contacts:

Attorney-General's office: Gabrielle Young | 0491 226 236 |

Communications: Justine Sywak | 0448 448 487 |

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