Joint statement:

  • Senator James Paterson, Shadow Minister for Cyber Security, Shadow Minister for Countering Foreign Interference


The Coalition is deeply concerned about media reports claiming that Chinese state-backed cyber criminals have sought to target sensitive Australian government agencies and media companies.

These actions, if corroborated by our security agencies, represent a significant threat to our institutions and our democracy.

We urge the Government to use every available resource to investigate this serious alleged cyber incident.

We call on the Government to provide clear advice to Australian individuals and businesses about how they can protect themselves against this kind of malicious cyber activity, that has the potential to cause serious harm to our national security.

In government, the Coalition provided record funding to and equipped our security agencies with a suite of legislative tools to respond to incidents such as this. All options should be on the table for consideration, including using the specially designed “cyber sanctions” that are contained within Australia’s Magnitsky Autonomous Sanctions Regime to send a clear message that these kinds of actions are not acceptable.

We will continue to seek regular briefings from government agencies, including the Australian Signals Directorate and Departments of Foreign Affairs, and Home Affairs.