Tuesday 11 August 2020
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Australian PM - 1 month ago

Statement - National Security

Mr Morrison: (Cook—Prime Minister) (12:00): by leave—Australia s democratic process is our greatest asset, our most critical piece of national infrastructure. Public confidence in the integrity of our democratic processes is an essential element of Australian sovereignty and governance. While we will vigorously argue over many issues in this place, we are all united in our parliament in our commitment to democratic principles. Members will be aware that the Australian Cyber Security Centre recently identified a malicious intrusion into the Australian Parliament House computer network. During the course of this work, we also became aware that the networks of some political parties—Liberal, Labor and the Nationals—have also been affected. Our security agencies have detected this activity and acted decisively to confront it. They are securing these systems and protecting users. I do not propose to go into the detail of these operational matters, but our cyberexperts believe that a sophisticated state actor is responsible for this malicious activity. Let me be clear, though: there is no evidence of any electoral interference. We have put in place a number of measures to ensure the integrity of our electoral system. I have instructed the Australian Cyber Security Centre to be ready to provide any political party or electoral body in Australia with immediate support, including making their technical experts available. They have already briefed the electoral commissions and those responsible for cybersecurity for all states and territories. They have also worked with global antivirus companies to ensure Australia s friends and allies have the capacity to detect this malicious activity. We have acted decisively to protect our national interests. The methods used by malicious actors are constantly evolving, and this incident just reinforces yet again the importance of cybersecurity as a fundamental part of everyone s business. The Australian government will continue to take a proactive and coordinated approach to protecting Australia s sovereignty, economy and national security. That is why the government has invested in cybersecurity, including strengthening the Australian Cyber Security Centre by bringing all of the Australian government s cybersecurity capability together in one place. Our political system and our democracy remain strong and vibrant and are protected. We stand united in the protection of our values and our sovereignty. The government has chosen to be transparent about these matters. This, in itself, is an expression of faith by our government in our democratic system and our determination to defend it.

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