January 23, 2017 / 12:14 AM / a year ago

Australia to increase protection of critical infrastructure assets

SYDNEY, Jan 23 (Reuters) - The Australian government on Monday said it would establish a new Critical Infrastructure Centre to protect key national infrastructure from sabotage, espionage and coercion.

The centre, which will develop national security risk assessments and register critical assets, is being established as the government has taken an increasingly protectionist stance on foreign ownership of electricity and port assets.

Australia last year rejected separate bids by Hong Kong’s Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings and China’s State Grid Corp. to buy all of Ausgrid, the biggest power grid in the nation’s most populous state, New South Wales, on grounds of “national security”.

Reporting by Jamie Freed; Editing by Michael Perry

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