Calls for consultation on new critical infrastructure rules

Further consultation is required with industry to define what is critical infrastructure, according to the Australian Logistics Council.

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has called on the federal government to provide additional time to allow the proper identification of which additional freight and logistics assets are to be made subject to Australia’s critical infrastructure legislation.

The Security Legislation Amendment (Critical Infrastructure) Bill currently before Parliament allows the government to make rules imposing reporting obligations on (amongst others) operators of intermodals as well as critical freight services assets including Toll Group, Aurizon, DHL Global Forwarding and Linfox.

The Rules proposed by the Government will impose reporting obligations on national logistics providers with an annual revenue threshold of over $150 million as well as the operators of 49 identified intermodal models.

“Imposing reporting obligations on companies on the basis of revenue alone is lazy as many companies provide services or do things not directly related to movement of critical freight – which is the information that governments want,” Smith said.

“Further consultation is required with industry to define what is critical infrastructure and avoid a ‘catch all’ scenario which fails the ‘minimising of regulatory impost’ test the government says it is using to develop the rules.”

Smith said members had also said some of the intermodals identified were not of strategic importance, while other key assets were not captured.

“It will still take some time for the legislation to pass Parliament. However, the Government has set an artificially early deadline to finalise rules for a law that doesn’t yet exist,” Smith said.

“So the vital security interests of Australia are protected, the government should take the time to get the legislative package right without imposing unnecessary red-tape on business.”

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