Transcript of Remarks To Staff At Defence Signals Directorate
THU 24 JANUARY 2013
Subject(s): National Security Strategy; Cyber Security Operations Centre
PM: Thank you very much.
I can see this is going to take a bit of neck-craning from me to be able to include everybody as I speak, but I’m very pleased to be here today and I’m here with the Minister for Defence, Stephen Smith, and of course with the Secretary of Defence too, Dennis is with us as well.
I’ve never been here before as you know so it’s a great opportunity to come and say hello and a great opportunity to say thank you too.
I’ve chosen today to come here to the Defence Signals Directorate, to you, because yesterday we launched our National Security Strategy.
There’s no more important role for government, for any of us, than keeping our nation safe.
And that means we always have to have the strategic analysis which is up with the times. We've always got to make sure that we are doing the deep thinking necessary to guide our national security efforts.
And we’ve done that work and put it into the National Security Strategy, which we want people across the Australian Public Service, but across the Australian community too, to understand and absorb.
As we’ve looked at the challenges ahead, the challenges in the next decade, the decade beyond 9/11, we have identified cyber security as a principal challenge.
Which is why it’s been a great opportunity for me to meet with and better understand some of the work that you do down in the pit, to use the terminology, the Cyber Security Operations Centre, and thank you to the staff down there for their time this morning in explaining their world to me as best they could with television cameras rolling.
The importance of cyber security isn’t just reinforced by a visit to the pit.
We’ve also reinforced it from yesterday’s National Security Strategy where we have said it will be a key focus of the work ahead and that we will by the end of this year launch a new Australian cyber security centre which will bring together people across all arms and agencies of government who work on cyber security.
An important initiative because cyber security encompasses so much, so much in terms of threats, the threats that we see from state and non-state actors, and so much in terms of the security of our community.
Not only government networks but business networks; critical networks across our community.
I was joking with Stephen Smith as I walked round. I’m someone who sits with a Prime Minister & Cabinet computer on my desk and when you haven’t used it for a while it flicks to the rotating screen saver, one of which is a message on cyber security which does say in a very pithy way “That Nigerian prince does not need your help.”
A message for community members but of course what you do here is much more sophisticated.
Can I say more broadly to all of the staff that work here at DSD, all of the big range of work that you do here, cyber security and so much beyond, thank you for the work that you do to keep our nation safe.
Thank you for every effort you make and efforts that we can’t thank you for, one success at a time.
We’re never going to go out there and say ‘Guess what DSD has done today, they’ve done a really good job.’ We never go out there and say that for very good reason.
But even when we can’t go out there and say that, I’m really conscious that the work that you do here is a pivotal part of our national security efforts, it’s a pivotal part of keeping our nation safe. And thank you very much for doing it.
I do also want to congratulate you on having, I think, the most succinct and powerful mission statement of any of our arms of government: ‘Reveal their secrets, protect our own.’
Thank you for the clarity of that vision and that statement and thank you for living up to the mission that that vision says.
That is what we need to do, reveal their secrets and protect our own.
So it’s a good opportunity to be here. Obviously I can’t be here every day with the Minister for Defence, but I do want to say to you every day we are conscious of the work you do, of the efforts that are happening from this place.
So thank you very much.