7 June 2005
Security of critical infrastructure a key outcome of APEC meeting
The security of IT systems controlling essential infrastructure such as power, water and airports will now be considered by APEC Leaders following a meeting of the APEC telecommunications committee (APEC TEL) in Lima, Peru.
The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Helen Coonan, represented Australia at APEC TELMIN6 over the last week and proposed the move to elevate consideration of critical infrastructure protection to the APEC Leaders meeting.
“This is an historic first for the APEC TEL process and will bring a critical issue to the attention of APEC Leaders,” Senator Coonan said.
“ Australia is a leading player in the APEC TEL. We chair a key working group on trade liberalisation, until recently we chaired another key group on security and at the next APEC TEL meeting Australia will chair the group on technical standards.
“Committing to look closely at what more we can do to protect critical infrastructure was among a number of initiatives progressed at the APEC TEL meeting. Ministers also recognised the need to do more to prevent the negative effects of the Internet – particularly moves to increase protection for children and families using the Internet.
“ Australia is at the forefront of action to make the Internet safer and I will be considering a determination from the Australian Communications Authority on how to bolster our protective measures later this month.
“At APEC TEL6 Australia has also been active in shaping outcomes on Spam, formulating technical standards to reduce the costs of trade in telecommunications and progressing Australia’s important WTO work.”
The APEC TEL meeting in Peru was particularly fruitful with high level Ministerial and business engagement. The Minister held formal bilateral meetings with the USA, China, Singapore, Korea, Peru and Vietnam.
Informal bilateral discussions with many others including Canada, New Zealand, Chile and Thailand were also held as well as meetings with Australian academics and industry.
The Minister will now travel to Korea where she will represent Australia at the Korea -Australia/New Zealand Broadband Summit from June 7-10.