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The Sunshine Coast has been selected as the location for a new national organisation aimed at protecting the nation against cyber criminals.

The Critical Infrastructure – Information Sharing and Analysis Centre (CI-ISAC), featuring some of the nation’s best and brightest when it comes to “threat intelligence’’, has started operations from Maroochydore today (February 6).

Image: NEXTDC SC1, Tier 3N+1 Edge Data Centre – Maroochydore CBD

Protecting Australia's most critical infrastructure

Under the guidance of CI-ISAC’s Chief Executive Officer David Sandell, the not-for-profit industry-based organisation provides comprehensive information and analysis advice to assist its membership base protect Australia’s most critical infrastructure.

The membership will be drawn from 11 key industry sectors representing almost 11,000 entities that include everything from banking, water and power grids to supermarkets and mining.

Mr Sandell said the Sunshine Coast had been steadily building its credentials in the cyber and tech space and this had not gone unnoticed for an organisation that is focussed on addressing digital defence-in-depth across Australia’s ICT networks.

“Assets that Sunshine Coast Council has been building alone or in partnership over the years were all key drivers to locate such an important organisation to a region location,” Mr Sandell said.

“No one else in regional Australia has the assets we need, including the fastest fibre cable to Asia, diversity of data path to Sydney, a fully fibre-enabled city centre and a new international runway with rapidly growing regional aviation connections.

“The local university and TAFE are doing some great things to develop the skilled workforce we need and the future on the Sunshine Coast looks bright.”

The new organisation is being led by some of Australia’s best, brightest, and most experienced in the field of threat intelligence and response.

Chair of the CI-ISAC Board is Brigadier (retired) Steve Beaumont, who previously served as Director-General of Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, Electronic Warfare and Cyber with the Australian Department of Defence.

Also playing a key role in the organisation is Dr Gary Waters, who has worked in the defence and national security space for more than five decades.

Emerging tech eco-system

A community of cyber defenders

Sunshine Coast Council Acting Mayor Rick Baberowski welcomed the news that CI-ISAC would be calling the Sunshine Coast home, joining our emerging tech eco-system that already included key corporate players like NEXTDC, and industry leading bodies such as the Sunshine Coast Tech Industry Alliance.

He congratulated board members and founders, Scott Flower and David Sandell, on their decision to create a base and invest on the Sunshine Coast with such an important initiative designed to combat the acceleration in cyber-threats.

“A significant part of Australia’s critical infrastructure is owned or managed by local government, and I encourage all 537 Australian local governments to consider the considerable value in becoming a community of cyber defenders,” Acting Mayor Baberowski said.

“The concept is clear-cut. If we act together and share cyber threat intelligence, we can only get better at pre-empting attacks, while contributing to defending Australia’s data highway and all of the sensitive and personal data public services and businesses collect.

“We are proud that the Sunshine Coast will host and participate in an important new sector to develop solutions that can benefit all Australians.”

For more information on how to become a member or partner of the CI-ISAC, navigate to

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