About Paper Shredders In Canberra & Surrounding Areas

Canberra, the capital of Australia is the epicentre of Australian federal politics. Much of Australia’s direction and policy is created and set in Canberra.

Due to the highly confidential & security classified information created and printed by government offices in Canberra, when required it is often mandatory to destroy paper based information and optical media data carriers such as CD’s DVD’s and Blu-ray discs in a high security manner.

The Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF) provides the appropriate controls for the Australian Government to protect its people, information and assets, at home and overseas.

In the context of offices shredding their documents, the Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF) states a “Class A” or “Class Bpaper shredder is used to complete destruction of security classified paper based information in accordance with the Australian Government Information Security Management Guidelines.

Australian Government Security Classification System

Information created by government departments, offices and contractors to the government is often very confidential and referred to as SCM (security classified material).

Being security classified information, there are strict control measures in place such as the creation, reproduction, management & marking, to when, where and how information on carriers such as paper or optical media (CD’s DVD’s and Blu-ray discs) can be destroyed.

When document destruction is required, paper based security classified information must be destroyed according to the Australian Government Information Security Management Guidelines. The guidelines are intended primarily for Australian Government Employees and contractors to assist agencies to identify the value of information and in turn apply the suitable protective marking. These guidelines cover types of official information such as information not requiring additional protection and information requiring security classifications such as:


Document destruction at Canberra offices can be performed at your office or off site through a SCEC approved contracted document destruction company accredited to destroy security classified information.

Shredding at Your Office

Destroying confidential and SCM security classified information by way of shredding within the confines of your office and its security zones, often proves the most convenient means of protecting information as this method is instant.

When destroying SCM (security classified materiel) in your office, it is mandatory that the shredding machine used meets the Australian Government “Class A” or “Class B” guidelines for the destruction of paper based SCM (security classified materiel).

These document shredding machines are often referred to as SEG Approved or SCEC Endorsed shredders.

Procedures for the Destruction of Protectively Marked Documents and ICT Media

Protectively marked information can be compromised because of inappropriate destruction. Agencies are to use approved procedures to dispose of protectively marked information. It is important to note that any disposal of official records needs to be in accordance with the Archives Act 1983. This usually means under the provisions of a disposal authority issued by the National Archives of Australia (NAA). Agencies should contact the NAA if they require further information relating to the disposal of records.

Security classified information is not to be, under any circumstances, disposed of by garbage or recycling collection unless it has already been through a SEG approved or SCEC approved destruction process, such as shredding.

Agency security advisers can seek advice from ASIO-T4 for routine or emergency destruction of security classified information.

Methods of Destruction

The following are the usual methods of destruction of security classified information:

  • pulping—transforming mass to a given size determined by a removable screen
  • burning—in accordance with relevant environment protection restrictions
  • pulverisation—using hammermills with rotating steel hammers to pulverise the material
  • disintegration—using blades to cut and gradually reduce the waste particle to a given size determined by a removable screen, and
  • shredding—using strip-shredders and crosscut shredders. Only crosscut shredders are SCEC approved for security classified information.

Agencies are to refer to the PSPF – Australian Government physical security management protocol and guidelines for advice on protective security equipment.

Where the destruction method is shredding, and the information is security classified as SECRET or above, it is to be shredded in a SCEC approved A Class crosscut shredder.

Where the destruction method is shredding, and the information is security classified as CONFIDENTIAL or PROTECTED, then it may be shredded in a B Class crosscut shredder.

For other destruction methods, agencies are to refer to the relevant ASIO-T4 Protective Security Circular and ISM for details on the required particle sizes for paper-based information and ICT media respectively.

Garbage and Recycling

Garbage, whether it is placed in a garbage hopper or other area for collection or delivered directly to a garbage disposal service, is extremely vulnerable. Only information that is public sector information or has already undergone a SCEC-endorsed destruction process such as shredding should be discarded in the agency’s general garbage.

Recycling or discarding intact documents does not serve the same purpose as document destruction and should only be used by an agency for public sector information disposal or when the information has already undergone some form of appropriate destruction such as shredding.

Agencies are required to develop their own policy for destruction of unclassified information bearing DLMs, after considering any agency-specific issues in accordance with their agency’s security risk management plan.

Contracted Destruction

Agencies may consider that it is necessary for the destruction of their protectively marked waste to be undertaken by an approved destruction company. Any decision to do so should be based on sound risk management. 
Approved companies have had transport, procedures and facilities approved by ASIO-T4 and equipment approved by SCEC.

Before entering into a contract for the destruction of paper-based security classified information, agencies are to ensure that the transport, procedures and facilities are approved by ASIO-T4 and the equipment is approved by SCEC as required. A current listing of approved destruction companies is available from ASIO-T4 Protective Security.

Information marked TOP SECRET, or Accountable Material should be destroyed within agency premises and only once the originating agency has been notified. The originators may also apply special conditions to the destruction of some protectively marked information which might prevent contracting out destruction.

It is recommended that agencies destroying unclassified paper-based information bearing DLMs use an ASIO-T4 approved company and SCEC-approved equipment. If the agency decides to choose a non-approved company and non-SCEC-approved equipment, the agency should take a risk management based decision on what company—that is, transport type, procedures and facility—and equipment—that is, resultant particle size—are to be used.

Agencies are to determine the procedures that it and the contractor will use to maintain an appropriate level of security throughout the pickup, transportation and destruction of the waste. Appropriate procedures include:

  • the waste is not to be left unattended at any time, and the vehicle and storage areas are appropriately secured
  • the destruction is to be performed immediately after the material has arrived at the premises
  • destruction of the waste is to be witnessed by an agency representative
  • destruction company staff are to have a security clearance to the highest level of security classified information being transported and destroyed, or appropriately security cleared agency staff are to escort and witness the destruction.

Classified waste bags and bins are not security containers therefore they are to receive appropriate protection during use and storage by the agency before collection. Classified waste bags and bins need to be stored according to the highest level of security classified information they contain.

Agencies and contractors may use a variety of methods for destruction. It is essential, however, that all equipment used for destruction be SEG passed or SCEC endorsed.


Document Dynamix Australia provides a comprehensive range of solutions including high security paper shredders and optical media shredders that position your office to effectively protect outgoing SCM (security classified material).

Providing onsite shredder maintenance and warranty repairs for most shredder brands, shredding continues with a minimum of disruption to your office.

An extensive range of shredder bags and high performance shredder oil for high security paper shredders can be viewed under our consumables page.

Contact us on the right for further information.