Peak body suggests: less over-kill in cyber bill

The Department of Home Affairs wants to over-sight universities via its critical infrastructure bill, a move institutions and lobbies are far too polite to call a power-grab.

But many submissions to the review of the proposed law do suggest it is expensive and unnecessary in its present form (CMM February 15).

And now peak-body Science and Technology Australia warns it would do damage, “every dollar spent on regulatory compliance is a dollar not spent on world-class research” and industry partners who use research infrastructure “will also feel the pinch.”

But if the feds must, STA suggests two ways to reduce the impact.

While the government has agreed to work with the HE and research communities to design guidelines, they should be “targeted to any evolving potential risks not already covered by the comprehensive suite of other regulations.”

And STA proposes the government “make a solid commitment” to reviewing compliance costs and “providing support to publicly funded bodies to meet them” when the proposed rules are implemented.

“Such support might also mean that universities can handle compliance costs for their industry partners rather than shouldering business with the cost of this red tape,” STA suggests.