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Senate passes Telecommunications Sector Security Reforms

Joint media release

Leader of the Government in the Senate
Senator the Hon George Brandis QC

Minister for Communications
Minister for the Arts
Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield

Today the Senate has passed the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 to significantly enhance the security of our critical telecommunications infrastructure.

This Bill will be the ninth significant tranche of national security legislation the Coalition Government has passed since 2014.

The Bill establishes a framework to better manage national security threats to the telecommunications sector, and obliges carriers and carriage service providers to do their best to protect their networks from unauthorised access and interference.

The bipartisan Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security reviewed the Bill and handed down its report on 30 June. The Government has accepted all the Committee's recommendations.

The Bill has now been referred to the House of Representatives. When passed, the Critical Infrastructure Centre within the Attorney General's Department will work with industry to implement the reforms over a 12 month period.Extensive industry consultation has contributed to the development of this legislation.

Media contacts: Office of the Attorney-General: 02 6277 7300 Office of Senator Fifield: 02 6277 7480