Govtech News Wrap – 4 November, 2021

Weekly news wrap of government technology

Defence inks five-year, $1B contract renewal with Telstra; SA Government goes on mass tech talent hiring spree; and Vic Government seeks out new support partner for smart ticketing system, myki.

– The Department of Defence has announced it has renewed its fixed telecommunications network contract with Telstra.

The five-year, $1 billion contract will see the telco “provide the Department with leading-edge technology and telco solutions”, including “5G mobile network capability (where available) for Defence personnel”.

It will also deliver “significantly increased wireless coverage” through the next-gen Wi-Fi 6 standard and “full SD-WAN and SDN capabilities to provide more flexible, self-healing and predictive network capabilities”.

The contract follows on from a recently expired $1.6 billion, eight-year ‘terrestrial communications services’ agreement with the telco.


– Company directors will now have a Director ID tied to them “for life”, with the Federal Government mandating the creation of unique numerical IDs through the digital myGovID service.

The move, a bid to crack down illegal phoenixing – that is, rebooting a company, but leaving the debts in with the old company – will require company directors to create a unique 15-digit identifier that “they will keep… as they move between different roles, businesses and even countries”.

“Acting as a unique identifier for every director, Director ID not only paves the way for streamlined experiences in the future but offers directors greater confidence that they are protected from fraud and illegal activity today,” the Government said in a statement.

The initiative is part of the Modernising Business Registers (MBR) program, led by the ATO and ASIC.

Directors can register for their Director ID via the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) website.


Australia Post has revealed it has committed an additional $20 million to upgrade its systems to cloud-based solutions over the next year in a bid to improve parcel scanning and tracking in the network

The funding is set to flow to a new “cloud-native data event management platform”, hosted on Google Cloud, that could bring AusPost ever-closer to real-time parcel tracking.


Service NSW has enabled the delivery of (opt-in) push notifications through its Service NSW app on Covid-19 case locations, which automatically alerts app users to sites of potential exposure risk.

Though exposure site indicators have been available through the app for some time, users previously had to manually navigate to the check-in history tab to reveal whether they had visited exposure sites.

It has been reported that around 700,000 Covid-19 case alerts were recorded on users’ check-in histories without them being alerted.

The Government was criticised for not including this capability in the original update.


The Victorian Government is looking to secure a vendor new partner to oversee operations and upgrades for its contactless ‘smart ticketing’ system, myki.

Ahead of what will be a 17-year-long partnership with NTT Data-owned Aussie developer Kamco, the Victorian Government has set itself a two-year timeline to secure a new partner to oversee the myki system.


– The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has sounded a warning for public sector agencies to be on the lookout for potential collusion between bidders during procurement processes.

The warning follows a recent investigation by the ACCC which revealed departmental processes contemplated cooperation by competing businesses on government tenders.

“Public sector procurement is a multi-billion-dollar sector which makes a vital contribution to the Australian economy and the welfare of Australian citizens and residents,” the ACCC said in a statement.

“However, based on recent experiences, the ACCC is concerned that some public servants and businesses may not be sufficiently aware of the risk of breaching cartel laws during the procurement process.”

It warned: “Encouraging businesses to discuss their bids with each other, or to make agreements about who will bid for a particular tender, is likely to amount to cartel conduct which is against the law.”

Procurement professionals were urged to apprise themselves of the ACCC guide on cartel deterrence and detection.


– The Office of the Information Commissioner (OAIC) has welcomed stiffer penalties outlined in the draft Privacy Legislation Amendment (Enhancing Online Privacy and Other Measures) Bill 2021 which it said would “align privacy and consumer law penalties and help address serious privacy risks to the community”.

Under the draft bill, the Government will increase the maximum penalty from $2.1 million for serious or repeated breaches of privacy to “not more than the greater of $10 million, or three times the value of any benefit obtained through the misuse of information, or 10 per cent of the entity’s annual Australian turnover”.

Commissioner Angelene Falk said the penalty updates were needed “to bring Australian privacy law into closer alignment with competition and consumer remedies.”

Falk also welcomed new information sharing powers, which she said would “facilitate engagement with domestic regulators and our international counterparts to help us perform our regulatory role efficiently and effectively”.

“This legislation is an important step towards the OAIC having more of the regulatory tools we need to take a risk-based approach to preventing harm.”


SA’s Department of the Premier and Cabinet is on a recruitment drive to find new technology and digital professionals to support the development of front-line digital services.

The DPS, as of a new program of work for customer services, has made available 21 jobs available across 11 different positions ranging from Senior Service Designer, Principal Developer, Scrum Master, Site Reliability Engineer (SREs), Digital Project Manager, Test Automation Engineer, CRM Developer, UX Designer, Graduate UX Designer, Solution Architect, Data/Integration Architect.

More information on the roles can be found at


New Zealand’s Digital Identity Services Trust Framework Bill has moved one step closer to being drafted into law, passing its first reading on 20 October. It will now be referred to the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee for consideration and public consultation.

The Trust Framework will enable NZ businesses “to provide trusted digital identity services that provide private, secure, and efficient digital identity verification,” Minister for Digital Economy and Communications, Dr David Clark said in a statement.

The Government said its Digital Identity Services Trust Framework will provide consistency in the way personal and organisational information is shared, stored, and used in a digital environment.

This will be achieved through an opt-in accreditation scheme, which details how sensitive information should be handled by authorised providers.

NEXTDC, a data centre provider, has announced it will develop Darwin’s “first world-class data centre”, a Tier III data centre facility (D1) and Mission Critical Operations centre, in partnership with the Northern Territory Government.

Vocus will also provide high-capacity connectivity to D1 on its Terabit Territory fibre network, as well as being an anchor tenant in the facility.


– A scam text-blocking pilot program deployed by the Federal Government has reportedly blocked more than 2,500 scam texts over the last year.

The blocked ‘phishing’ texts appear to originate from government agencies, including Centrelink, myGov, and the Australian Taxation Office, containing what appear to be legitimate government sender IDs.

“This collaboration between the Australian Cyber Security Centre, Services Australia and Telstra and the telecommunications sector is an excellent example of the Australian Government and industry working together to develop solutions to stop cybercriminals from exploiting Australians en masse,”  Minister for Defence, Peter Dutton said in a statement.


West Wimmera Health Service (WWHS), based in Victoria, has put out a request for tender for managed services providers that can deliver management and support for its entire ICT infrastructure under a five-year (and up to eight year) managed service contract.

“This tender is being issued to suppliers who may be able to manage the complete cycle of installations, support and management of the Health Service’s ICT infrastructure to provide excellent support, development and management thereafter.”


– The Federal Government has opened the second round of applications for its Cyber Security Skills Partnership Innovation Fund, with a total of $60 million earmarked to support programs to diversify the cybersecurity workforce. Successful applicants will receive grants from $250,000 to $3 million.

The current funding round will target proframs that boost the participation of:

  • women
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • people based in regional and remote areas
  • people with neurodiverse backgrounds.

The Cyber Security Skills Partnership Innovation Fund is a component of Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy 2020.


– The Federal Government has inked a new agreement with the Republic of Korea “to drive increased adoption of low and zero emissions technologies”.

“The Partnership also commits us to advancing technologies and trade systems for hydrogen supply, low emissions steel and iron ore, and carbon capture, utilization and storage as early priorities,” the Government said in a statement.

“This commitment builds on partnerships Australia has already entered into with Indonesia, Germany, Singapore, Japan and the United Kingdom.


– The CSIRO, in partnership with defence solutions provider EPE,  has announced the opening of its new R&D MILTECS (Military Test, Evaluation, Certification and Systems Assurance) facility for field robotics.

The centre, based just outside of Brisbane, will carry out standardised testing across industries, including defence, law enforcement, agriculture, manufacturing and mining, to help drive Australia’s sovereign industrial capability.


– The NSW Government has called for feedback on a proposed expansion of the Strata Hub, providing data on building, safety and management information. The scheme would require owners corporations bodies to annually report and verify basic details about their strata scheme.

“These changes increase transparency and accountability in the sector by providing key data on how schemes are being governed, while also making communication easier and quicker,” said NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rose Webb.

The first phase of the Strata Hub was launched in August, when a digitised Strata Building Bond and Inspections Scheme (SBBIS) went online.


Transperth, the public transport authority for Perth, has deployed six ‘InfoCubes’ incorporating GPS tracking that show real-time arrival information for all services using the stop – updated every 15 seconds.

The digital display can also be used to display real-time messages on any unexpected delays encountered due to issues like unusual levels of traffic congestion and road works.


– The Queensland Government is trialling QR code armbands to help support rural patients who have been flown to a major hospital outside the region for emergency treatment.

The program was devised by the Central West Hospital and Health Service.

“The armbands being trialed as part of this program provide information which can be scanned and used by staff at a receiving hospital to help make appropriate arrangements to return patients to their home locations,” Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Yvette D’Ath said.