Remarks at Opening of New Joint Cyber Security Centre in Adelaide

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The Hon Christopher Pyne MP

Minister for Defence

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23 November 2018


The last thing I'd say about this centre is it's also the first of our jointly co-located centres with AustCyber, which is the cyber security [indistinct]. And we will hear from Michelle, the CEO later. But it's an important one because it’s then bringing the start-up, scale-up community together with those of us who practice cyber security whether it's in industry or government or academia. So it is a remarkable fusion centre and therefore very important to us as an economy. So it's my pleasure to introduce someone that doesn't need any introductions in South Australia, the Minister for Defence and one of my portfolio Ministers.


CHRISTOPHER PYNE: This one’s better. Feel like I’m about to sing a number with this one.


To you and also to the Premier of course, Steven Marshall, to the other distinguished guests -  Michelle from AustCyber. Ladies and gentlemen it's a great pleasure to be here at the opening of the Joint Cyber Security Centre, here as part of the Australia Cyber Security Centre Network and the operations they provide as well as the AustCyber operation in South Australia - the only one of its kind in the country, where AustCyber which is the industry side of the ambitions and the goals of cyber security and the government is linked directly with the Joint Cyber Security Centre. And that's indicative itself of the way we operate in South Australia, where we can collaborate, work more closely together, put aside potential rivalries, not see anyone as a competitor but instead as a collaborator, as part of the nature of our economy since the 19th century and it continues right through to the current day. Not least of which because of the encouragement given by the South Australian Government led by Steven Marshall, to really put in effort and activity into this part of the economy.

For me, as the Minister of Defence, cyber security is really, really critical and things like your opening of this centre, the work that the Joint Cyber Security Centre will do as well as the work that Alastair's Australian Cyber Security Centre does, is vitally important if we are going to realise our ambitions of growing a Defence Industry into a significant part of our manufacturing base. We're well on the track to doing so, but it could be retarded if we don't invest in cyber security. The biggest hurdle to investing in cyber security is convincing Australian business that they have to invest in cyber security. Many Australian businesses tut tut I think at the breaches that they read about in the magazines, in the defence magazines or the newspapers and think -that'll never happen to me. The truth about cyber security is what they don't know, they don't know. And the critical nature of centres like this is helping to inform Australian business that they have to take cyber security really seriously. So every time that there's a well publicised security breach, which doesn't happen very often thankfully - I actually see it as long as it hasn’t been very serious information that’s been guarded by hackers - I see it as an opportunity to remind people that even if companies are very successful, well known primes can be susceptible to criminal attacks, then imagine those companies that aren't investing in their cyber security. How much more susceptible they must be and therefore we have to invest in cyber security along with the Air Force, the Army, the Navy, I now see cyber as very much as very much the fourth arm of the government's military defence responses. We're investing – although of course it's classified so we can’t tell you – we’re investing a tremendous amount of money, a lot more money in cyber security, whether it's through the ASIO, ASIS, the Australian Signals Directorate obviously, the ACSC which sits within ASD, which has now come out of the shadows since Mark Simkin arrived at the ASD. As he said, it's the only department that’s listening in the government.


But all of that work that we’re now investing in cyber security, indicates how important it is to us as a government and to our economy. So, I hope that Australian business, South Australian business will use the opportunity the centre gives them to build up their cyber capabilities. We are, as you know, trying to get as much of the largest build-up of our military capability in our peacetime history being done here in Australia and we’re having a lot of success. But one of the things that’s going to stop that is if the government can’t contract with Australian businesses because they haven’t got enough cyber protections to convince us that they can win the contract. So, for them, for Australian business, it’s about actually being competitive in tender processes or smart buyer processes. And working with primes and government to make sure they can win those contracts. And if they don’t invest in their cyber, they won’t win, and it’s as simple as that. So it’s very much all of us needing to understand our place in this part of the jigsaw puzzle and if we all get that right and work together, we can all do well, we can protect our intellectual property, can protect our country, we can grow our profits and our prosperity, support our state and our nation and that’s why it’s a very exciting part of the government to be in. So it’s a pleasure to be here and be part the launch of this really important capability. Thank you.


STEVEN MARSHALL: I’ll just save Alastair a job and introduce myself. Put your feet up Alistair.


For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Steven Marshall. I’m the Premier of South Australia and it is really a pleasure to be here today with Christopher Pyne, the Minister for Defence, Alastair MacGibbon, who is, of course, the head of the Australian Cyber Security Centre, Michelle Price, head of Australian Cyber, and to all of you who have a genuine interest in protecting South Australia, protecting Australia. I can't think of many more important things at the moment than being ready, not for the threat, but the inevitability of cyber-attacks. In fact, we are having cyber-attacks in South Australia, in Australia, every single day. So this is no longer a risk or a threat into the future, it is something that is happening. It is something for which we must be very prepared for; and I’m proud to say that the South Australian Government is taking it extraordinarily seriously. I would like to commend David Goodman, who- he’s, yeah. Give him a round of applause.


He really does lead a small but very capable team. He's developed a cyber-security strategy in South Australia. We take this extraordinarily seriously. In fact, we reflect on it. We report against it at every meeting of the Emergency Management Council in South Australia, which I chair. We are absolutely delighted that we are the first joint cyber security centre from Australia, which is co-locating our node of AustCyber in together. I think this is a really good development and I'm sure it’s going to be a model that will probably be looked at very carefully by the other joint cyber security centres around Australia because I think it's absolutely a very logical way to go.

What we've got here with this fantastic centre is a capability that industry, business in South Australia can tap into. People can come along here. They can exchange ideas. They can hear about the latest techniques, technologies because it is constantly, absolutely constantly, changing and we must be ever vigilant and we must be upgrading our skills all of the time. This is one of the reasons that the new government has put a lot of money into developing a traineeship in cyber security because if you think about the real constraints, as a state and as a nation, to our preparedness to deal with this threat, it's actually about having the most suitably qualified personnel to work in this area. Now, we don't just need half a dozen or a dozen or 50 or 100 people. The reality is we’re going to have to be developing thousands of people who have got an understanding of how we respond to the increasing threat in terms of cyber security. In our very first budget – which some people unfairly said was a very tough budget, but I thought it was a very fair budget myself – some people incorrectly identified this as a tough budget. But one thing we did invest in very seriously was skills development. In fact, $200 million worth of new money, additional money, going into developing new apprenticeships and traineeships in South Australia. This is not just about more hairdressers in the state. It's actually about people who are very important people [indistinct]…



Anyway, you’re taking me off track. But we would really like to develop traineeships, apprenticeships, training, in future industries where we don't have the requisite skills in place at the moment. So one of the very first new traineeships that we've developed, in consultation with industry, is a traineeship – a two year traineeship around cyber security, and we want to be pushing hundreds and ultimately, thousands of people through those traineeships so that we are prepared in South Australia. We are taking it very seriously.

And the other thing that we invested in very seriously in our first budget is Lot Fourteen, which is the old Royal Adelaide Hospital site. A year ago, it was a functioning hospital, and now we're going to try and transform this into a real centre for future industries in Australia. So areas like defence and space and cyber and blockchain; and making sure this really becomes the most exciting precinct for these new areas. We're putting a lot of money into that; future industries. We're putting a lot of money into skills. We're taking the threat very seriously, and I'm absolutely delighted to be here at the opening of this fantastic new facility today. Thank you very much.


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