States and territories must shore up national security weak links

A leading national security expert is today calling for all Australian states and territories to establish dedicated National Security Units in order to meet the security challenges of the 21st century.

Speaking at the National Press Club, Professor Rory Medcalf from The Australian National University (ANU), will argue state and territory governments are seen by foreign powers as “weak links” when it comes to Australian sovereignty and creating a unified foreign and security policy.

“States and territories are where it gets real,” he will say.

“They don’t deal with the abstractions of diplomatic talking points or strategic analysis, but the tangible day-to-day elements of national resilience and national vulnerability – critical infrastructure, frontline geography, and the daily decisions and livelihoods of Australian citizens.

“So state and territory governments need to accept that they have special responsibilities in securing Australia. That means they need to be equipped to do so. Right now, they are plainly not.”

Professor Medcalf, Head of the ANU National Security College, will be joined at the National Press Club by Michelle Price, CEO of AustCyber, the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network.

Both speakers will layout distinct and complementary roadmaps for Australia to protect its cyber security interests and values in the decade ahead.

These involve drawing on the lessons of 2020 and building foundations for new kinds of security, spanning defence, economics, diplomacy, society, information and technology.

Watch the National Press Club live broadcast on ABC TV from 12.30pm, Wednesday 9 December.

ANU media contact:
James Giggacher, Manager Strategic Communications

Phone: +61 436 803 488
Email: [email protected]

AustCyber media contact:
Tom Finnigan, PR, Media and Engagement Manager, AustCyber
Phone: +61 408 867 367
Email: [email protected]

About The Australian National University

ANU is a world-leading university in Australia’s capital city, Canberra. Our location points to our unique history, ties to the Australian Government and special standing as a resource for the Australian people.

Our focus on research as an asset, and an approach to education, ensures our graduates are in demand the world-over for their abilities to understand, and apply vision and creativity to addressing complex contemporary challenges.