Govtech News Wrap – 9 September, 2021

Weekly news wrap of government technology

NSW invites new cloud services and platform providers to help accelerate agencies’ public cloud migration, while the DTA opens its software marketplace panel to new vendors; Victoria to build $4m ‘sports tech’ hub; while Transport for NSW deploys AI to manage road safety performance.

Transport for NSW (TfNSW) has co-developed an-AI backed predictive algorithm to assist governments in managing road safety performance on NSW roads.

Dubbed ‘Accelerated and Intelligent Road Assessment Program data collection’, or AiRAP, the system is designed to automatically extract and assess raw road data for vital safety assessments.


IP Australia has announced it will appeal a Federal Court decision that permits an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system to be named as an inventor on patent applications.

The appeal follows a Federal Court ruling which overturned an earlier decision by the Australian patents office that permitted only humans to be named as inventors for an Australian patent.

In a statement, IP Australia said: “The Commissioner considers that the legislation is incompatible with permitting an AI to be an inventor, and that the issue is one of public importance.”


Tasmania’s Department of Premier and Cabinet’s (DP&C) State Services Review final report has put forward 77 recommendations to improve the public sector operations, including key changes to the state’s front-line citizen services provider, Services Tasmania.

Among the recommendations include the establishment of a dedicated state agency for Services Tasmania, to be sat directly under the state’s DP&C and supported by an advisory board. The Review also called for the appointment of a “functional leader” to deliver whole-of-government capabilities that would “share, link and analyse data” across all state agencies, and reorientation of government services to centre around citizens’ “life events”.


– In its move to accelerate its cross-agency public cloud-first adoption push, NSW’s Department of Customer Service (DCS) has put the call out to cloud service providers to establish a standing offer arrangement for the supply of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) services.


– The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has also invited new vendors to join its Software Marketplace to supply Federal Government agencies with Commercial off-the-Shelf software.


– The City of Stonnington council, based in metropolitan Melbourne, has reportedly reactivated “critical internal systems” following an attempted “cyber intrusion” discovered in late August.

Chief Executive Jacqui Weatherill said she expected to have front-line systems, including call centre and website, including e-planning services, “back to normal” this week.


– The Victorian Government has announced a $4 million investment to establish the Australian Sports Innovation Centre for Excellence in Melbourne.

The Government predicts its new sport-specialist centre could generate up to 2,000 tech jobs within the state in four years.


–The Queensland Government has introduced legislation to amend the state’s Public Health Act 2005 to ensure the state’s mandatory contact-tracing app, Check In Qld, “can only be used for contact tracing or contact tracing related purposes”.

The move follows the WA Government’s introduction of its own legislation to prevent state law enforcement authorities from accessing SafeWA contact tracing data following revelations WA police had used the data to investigate at least two serious crimes.

Queensland’s Office of the Information Commissioner welcomed the move as a means of bolstering community trust, stating: “As mandatory check-in has been expanded across venues and sectors, this has become more of an issue of concern given the use of accurate and reliable data is vital to contact tracing efforts to keep Queenslanders and our visitors safe, and minimise lock downs and disruption to the community.”


– The SA Government has moved to increase transparency around local government spending, introducing a new website, Councils in Focus, that provides information on councils’ spending, financial position and performance, revenue sources, and how their investments impact their respective communities.

Minister for Planning and Local Government Vickie Chapman said the launch of the website aligns with a key recommendation of the South Australian Productivity Commission’s inquiry into Local Government costs and efficiency.


– The Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG), the Defence Department’s chief research arm, is developing a “two-way” digital twin to support preventative maintenance and condition monitoring of military land vehicles.

The research, which is in collaboration with Flinders University and South Australian automotive business, Supashock, will explore the creation of a digital twin that supports “real-time two-way transfer of data”, enabling the system to initiate action on a physical item – in this case, a vehicle.

The research is a continuation of DSTG’s work in ‘sense and respond’ logistics – a system of networks and sensors providing real-time intelligence to enable an agile and responsive supply chain.


–  Equinix Australia has announced it has attained Certified Strategic Hosting Provider status – the highest-level assurance required of data centre providers to host Australian Government data.

Certified Strategic Hosting Provider status is only available to providers that allow the Government to specify ownership and control conditions.


– The Victorian Government has committed $73 million to establish the ‘Victorian nbn State Program Fund’, giving approximately 10,000 Victorian businesses within eleven outer metro and regional areas access to business-grade fibre connections.

The first phase of the new deal will see the Vic Government and nbn co co-invest in the creation of eleven new nbn™ Business Fibre Zones in Benalla, Colac, Cranbourne South, Dromana, Hamilton, Lara, Pakenham North, Pakenham South, Portland, Warragul and Wonthaggi-Inverloch.


– The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has released a simulated cyber incident challenge giving organisations the opportunity “to test or improve their cyber response ability and forensic skills”.

The challenge was originally run at the BSides Canberra conference in April 2021.