Defence Minister Peter Dutton says Australia is “weathering an onslaught” of foreign interference activity including espionage and cyberterrorism.

Mr Dutton said the federal government has been “determined to expose and expel” those who wish to undermine the Australian way, including enacting tighter security for “national assets”.

“This week, the government passed legislation to strengthen and expand the scope of those protections,” he said at the National Press Club on Friday.

“The National Security Committee of Cabinet took the contentious but necessary decision to ban high risk vendors from being involved in the rollout of Australia’s 5G network.”

Mr Dutton said the “state-based cyberthreat” Australia faces is “very real” and has impacted over 300 organisations across various industries.

“The government is pushing back against those kinds of threats by bolstering our nation’s resilience to cyberattacks,” he said.

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