Calls for more consultation on new critical infrastructure legislation

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) is calling on the Federal Government to allow extra time to identify which additional freight and logistics assets will be subjected to the Security Legislation Amendment (Critical Infrastructure) Bill currently before Parliament.

The Bill allows the Federal 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 Federal 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,” ALC Interim CEO, Rachel 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.” 

Miss Smith said that members have expressed concern that some intermodals identified are not of strategic importance, whilst other key assets are not captured in the Bill. 

“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. 

“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,” Miss Smith said. 

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