Critical infrastructure

What is critical infrastructure?

Those physical facilities, supply chains, information technologies and communication networks, which if destroyed, degraded or rendered unavailable for an extended period, would significantly impact on the social or economic wellbeing of the nation, or affect Australia’s ability to conduct national defence and ensure national security.

What are some examples of critical infrastructure?

Essential services we all rely on in our daily lives, such as power, water, health, communications systems, and banking.

Interlinked

A lot of critical infrastructure is interlinked. This means that the continuity of supply of critical infrastructure often depends on the availability of other critical infrastructure services.

The degree and complexity of these linkages is increasing as Australia becomes more reliant on shared information systems and convergent communication technologies, such as the internet.

Threats to critical infrastructure

There are a range of threats or hazards that can damage or destroy critical infrastructure and disrupt the continuity of essential services–including natural disasters, pandemics, accidents, negligence, criminal activity, and terrorist attack.

This is why the Australian Government has an ‘all hazards’ approach to critical infrastructure resilience.

Responsibility for critical infrastructure

It takes a team effort to look after Australia’s critical infrastructure.

This responsibility is shared between owners and operators of critical infrastructure, State and Territory governments, and the Australian Government.