GovTech Weekly News Wrap – 1 October, 2020

Weekly news wrap of government technology

Federal Government commits $800 million to post-Covid digital business recovery plan; WA unveils inaugural Cyber Security Centre; and QLD Auditor-General flags “significant issues” with health department’s new finance and supply chain management system.

  • The Federal Government has committed $800 million to its JobMaker Digital Business Plan in a bid to reshape business interactions with government and boost the sector’s economic activity post-Covid. As part of the investment, the Government will inject more than $676 million into furthering development of its GovPass digital identity system, as well as slashing “outdated regulatory barriers”, and streamlining the country’s business registers, it says.


  • The WA Government will establish the state’s first whole-of-government Cyber Security Operations Centre. Allocating $1.8 million from its budget to the Centre, the Government says the cybersec hub will “significantly improve visibility of the cyber threats against agencies’ networks and the Government’s capability to detect and respond to cybersecurity incidents”.


  • WA Health has also announced a $8.5 million deal to build a new integrated human resources, payroll and rostering platform. WA Health Minister Roger Cook said the new HR platform “will enable better workforce planning in response to the changing health needs of the WA community”.


  • Nine out of 10 Australians want more control over their privacy, including the use of their personal data according to a new survey by Australia’s Information Commissioner (OAIC). Australians also appear to increasingly question the use of their data for undeclared purposes, with 81 per cent stating that requests for extraneous personal information is a “misuse” of their data.




  • The Australian Government has released a new digital style manual to help agencies better communicate with the public. The updated manual contains new topics and guidance on social media and writing for search engines.


  • Queensland’s Auditor-General has flagged “significant issues” with QLD Health’s new finance and supply chain management system, following the implementation of SAP’s S/4HANA. The AG did, however, acknowledge that “the system [has] operated as implemented.” S/4HANA has served as the core inventory system used to manage the critical supply and distribution of personal protective equipment for front-line doctors and nurses during the Covid crisis.


  • The NSW Government has announced a plan to digitise all school forms for public primary schools, with the option to enrol children online via their local school website.


  • The Federal Government has earmarked nearly $30 million to improve the allocation and management of 5G spectrum, including $22.1 million to establish an Australian 5G Innovation Initiative supporting commercial trials and testbeds for industry. Under the Initiative, successful grant recipients, including SMEs, will have opportunities to develop and test 5G applications and demonstrate commercial incentives for its adoption.


  • Services Australia has passed a recent ANAO performance audit of its technology infrastructure which assessed the management of risks involved in operating its Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation (WPIT) Program.


  • Transport for NSW has launched a new live traffic website, Live Traffic NSW, offering a one-stop-shop for traffic flow and disruption information.


  • The Digital Transformation Agency has launched a working beta of its forthcoming replacement. The site has limited functionality, with services from Services Australia, the Australian Taxation Office and other agencies yet to be linked.


  • NZ’s Digital Public Service (DPS), part of the Department of Internal Affairs, is seeking agency input into a new digital standards catalogue. The work will result in an implementation plan and roadmap for digital standards across government.


  • Queensland-based tech advisory firm KJR has announced a collaboration with Queensland’s Department of Health and other local tech companies to create visual dashboards to help “track and plan their patient response” during Covid.


  • The Australian Digital Health Agency will commence a full rollout of its electronic prescriptions initiative across greater Victoria following the reported success of the service within the Greater Melbourne area.


  • The Australian Government has announced $7.2 million pilot program aimed at dispensing high-level specialist knowledge and digital skills to students. Minister for Education Dan Tehan said the program will “drive innovation, productivity gains, and produce highly-skilled graduates.”


  • This week Information Access Commissioners and Ombudsmen from across Australia and New Zealand have come together to mark International Access to Information Day, honouring the public’s right to access to information.



  • The WA Government has released a new online resource to help those of Aboriginal descent trace their family histories. The resource contains genealogical information and photographs from Western Australia between 1935 and 1966.


  • The NSW Government is setting up a new $19 million “world-class training facility” for emergency services personnel in Western Sydney. The centre will consist of an “urban search and rescue scene” with an underground train tunnel and a five-storey tower that consists of a variety of fire and rescue scenarios.


  • The VIC Government has announced that the Victoria Nature Festival will be held online this year, with a “range of safe, free nature-based virtual events and activities”, said Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio.


  • The SA Government has released a new survey encouraging start-ups across the state to provide feedback on common challenges, such as job creation and capital raising, to help government improve support options for local entrepreneurs.


  • The Sunshine State has announced the winners of the 2020 Queensland Women in STEM awards, which acknowledges contributions of leading women in the field. Winners Samantha Nixon, Toni Hay, and Denuja Karunakaran are each “doing pioneering work in the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) fields,” according to Minister for Science Leeanne Enoch.


  • Contact tracing app COVIDSafe has received another update, promising an improved user registration process.


  • Australia Post reported online shopping purchases increased 85 per cent in August 2020 compared to the same period last year.