WSAA is coordinating a national response to the Home Affairs Consultation Paper on Protecting Critical Infrastructure and Systems of National Significance with the Water Services Sector Group (WSSG) and other peak bodies.
The paper proposes a significant increase in powers for Home Affairs to address matters relating to cyber, physical, personnel and supply chain security risks. It places increased obligations on owners of critical infrastructure of national significance.
These obligations include:
- A Positive Security Obligation to set and enforce baseline protections for critical infrastructure through sector specific standards proportionate to risk.
- Enhanced cyber security obligations.
- Government assistance (including last resort step in powers) for entities that are the target or victim of a cyber-attack.
Home Affairs is also looking at reform of the Trusted Information Sharing Network (TISN) including the WSSG.
All organisations covered by the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act will be subject to the new framework, with discussion currently in progress about the criteria for including other water businesses, particularly whether this should be all businesses with more than 50,000 property connections or other criteria.
The government assistance aspects are proposed to apply to all entities regardless of size that manage stormwater, sewage, drinking water, recycled water and raw water.
WSAA has sent a request for information to the Managing Directors and CEOs of water businesses with more than 50,000 property connections.
Input to WSAA's submission is due before 8 September and submissions to Home Affairs are due by 16 September.
For further information please contact Greg Ryan.