Latest World News

Protecting yourself from the Optus hack will be expensive. So, who will pay for it?


Optus must cover the cost of replacing compromised identity documents, including passports, after a massive data breach at the telco, the government says.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told parliament on Wednesday it shouldn’t fall to taxpayers to help affected customers when it was the telecommunications giant’s fault.

WATCH IN THE VIDEO ABOVE: Anthony Albanese says Optus should pay for the damaging data leak.

Watch the latest News on Channel 7 or stream for free on 7plus >>

The opposition had been calling for Labor to foot the bill but Liberal senator Linda Reynolds later conceded Optus should pay, while criticising the government’s response to supporting people hurt by the breach.

“The government’s making people pay for (passports) themselves … Optus should be paying, or at least the government,” she said.

“People with their Medicare numbers (leaked) … what protections are the government putting in place?

“These things have been quite slow in response, particularly when looking after the interests of the 10 million Australians” believed to be impacted.

Almost all of the states and territories have announced residents can apply for replacement driver’s licence numbers, after the transport authorities initially said no because a licence number follows a driver for life.

The cost of the exercise is either free or will be paid for by Optus.

Labor MP Peter Khalil, who heads parliament’s intelligence and security committee, said gaps in critical infrastructure and telecommunications laws left by the former government had made the Optus breach possible.

“There are gaps there … The previous government did not switch on the cybersecurity obligations for telecommunications companies, and that is something we are looking at very, very seriously,” he told the ABC.

“Not only has the door been unlocked, the door has been left wide open, the windows are open, and the back door is open.”

Optus to pay for licence replacements

Australians caught up in a massive breach will be able to change their driver’s licence numbers and get new cards, with the telco expected to bear the multi-million cost of changeover.

The NSW, Victorian, Queensland and South Australia governments on Tuesday evening began clearing the bureaucratic hurdles for anyone who can prove they are victims of the hack, which has affected millions of people.

“People are understandably stressed and need a pathway forward,” NSW Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello said on Twitter.

NSW will charge a $29 replacement fee, which it said will be reimbursed by Optus.

Victorians will also get “free” licence number replacements and the chance to flag their licence record in case of future fraud.

“We will request Optus repays the cost of the new licences to the Victorian government,” a spokesperson for the state’s Transport department said.

Governments will make it easy for Optus customers hurt by a data breach to get a new licence number. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP

Similar arrangements are being made in other states and territories and the cost to Optus could run into the tens of millions of dollars.

Anyone applying for a replacement driver’s licence number and card must be able to show they have been advised by Optus that they are at risk.

Here’s how each of the state governments have responded to the Optus breach:


  • Service NSW and ID Support NSW are working with Transport for NSW on driver’s licence relief
  • Affected Optus customers will soon be able to apply for a replacement number online through Service NSW or one at its offices
  • The replacement fee of $29 will be reimbursed by Optus


  • Department of Transport is working with IDCARE to get a full list of Victorian licences exposed by the breach
  • Anyone at risk can get their VicRoads record flagged against any potential future fraud and request a number and card replacement
  • The government will ask Optus to repay the cost


  • Replacement driver licence numbers and cards will be offered free of charge to impacted Optus customers


  • Licence numbers can be changed at a Service SA Centre
  • Replacement fee of $20 will be waived
  • Anyone who has already paid for a replacement licence can get a refund through Service SA


  • The government is still working through the issue of replacing driver licence numbers and cards


As of 8pm AEST Tuesday, Western Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania were still to advise on their plans but are expected to follow the other jurisdictions.

If you’d like to view this content, please adjust your .

To find out more about how we use cookies, please see our Cookie Guide.

Source: 7News