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MINDEF unveils new data centre

MINDEF unveils new data centre

New critical infrastructure built to shore-up Australia’s cyber defences has been unveiled in Canberra.

New critical infrastructure built to shore-up Australia’s cyber defences has been unveiled in Canberra.

Minister for Defence Peter Dutton has officially unveiled Intellicentre 5 Bunker (IC5) — critical infrastructure operated by Macquarie Telecom Group, designed to house "highly-classified" Commonwealth government data, including sensitive material stored by the Department of Defence.  

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The facility, located in Canberra, forms part of Macquarie’s broader $200 million investment in national data centres, aimed at enhancing data sovereignty and cyber resilience, while also fostering digital skills development.

IC5 is expected to support a “fully sovereign ecosystem”, encompassing a local supply chain, Australian government security-cleared staff, data access and storage.

The data centre leverages physical, virtual security and compliance credentials to manage cloud workloads.

Minister Dutton welcomed the new facility, stressing the importance of bolstering Australia’s data sovereignty and cyber security, particularly amid a spike in threat activity.

“The need to secure data to protect Australian businesses and government has been a maturing conversation over the last few years,” he said. “The threat is evolving.”

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Minister Dutton noted the government’s work to address mounting risks, pointing to the ‘Protecting Critical Infrastructure and Systems of National Significance’ reforms under the Security Legislation Amendment (Critical Infrastructure) Bill 2020.  

“Macquarie is a globally recognised leader in its field with a particular focus on data storage and protection services,” he added.

“In our current threat environment, the demand for those services can only increase.”

The unveiling comes just a week after Macquarie Telecom Group secured a ‘Certified Strategic’ classification under the federal government’s new Hosting Strategy, overseen by the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA).

Macquarie Government managing director Aidan Tudehope welcomed Minister Dutton’s support.  

“We are proud to welcome Minister for Defence, the Hon. Peter Dutton to IC5 Bunker,” Tudehope said.

“His interest in unveiling our facility is a measure of the government’s commitment to ensuring government agencies and critical infrastructure operators and their supply chains are ‘battle-ready’ for the challenges we all face in the cyber domain.

“This means protecting Australia’s sovereign data and demonstrating the importance of cyber security to the whole of the Australian economy.”

David Hirst, group executive of Macquarie Data Centres, noted the broader benefits of new facilities like the IC5, including their contribution to jobs growth.

“At a time when Australia needs strong economic growth, recent research has shown that data centres like these support the creation of more than 1,600 onshore jobs,” he added.

[Related: New data sovereignty push welcomed by industry]

Charbel Kadib

Charbel Kadib

News Editor – Defence and Security, Momentum Media

Prior to joining the defence and aerospace team in 2020, Charbel was news editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business, where he covered developments in the banking and financial services sector for three years. Charbel has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations, graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a double major in politics and journalism. Charbel has also completed internships with The Australian Department of Communications and the Arts and public relations agency Fifty Acres.

MINDEF unveils new data centre
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