GovTech Weekly News Wrap – 11 June


Social Services Minister calls for IT funding model reform, Reserve Bank to develop ‘data bunker’, and the national broadcaster ABC seeks wireless upgrade. Tracking the week that was in tech and digital innovation across Australia and New Zealand’s government sector.


Australia’s Home Affairs Department has officially launched a biometric identification system across Australia’s major capital city airports in an effort to optimise passenger visa and border processing as well as detect criminal and national security threats. The system was built in partnership with Unisys and Idemia.

Federal Government Services Minister Stuart Robert has called on the DTA to review the Government’s long-standing IT funding model in a bid to better support agile delivery approaches and common, reusable platforms.

The Reserve Bank of Australia has put the call out to developers to help it build ‘data bunker’ in a bid to prevent future instances of data loss or corruption.

Geoscience Australia has developed a new web portal to unlock data on mineral resources for investment partners across the globe. Developed in partnership with the Perth-based Critical Minerals Facilitation Office, Federal Resources Minister Keith Pitt said the portal highlights Australia’s potential as an investment destination.

The South Australian Government has launched three new transport apps and a revamped Adelaide Metro website, with better support for real-time transport tracking and route planning.

The NSW Government has earmarked $21.7 million for telehealth services to support regional stroke patients with round-the-clock critical care. The “telestroke service”, to be rolled out at up to 23 regional sites, will link expert stroke clinicians with on-the-ground emergency physicians.

The CSIRO’s tech R&D arm Data61 has made a breakthrough in OS microkernel development, completing its proof of implementation correctness for the open-source seL4 microkernel for the RISC-V instruction-set architecture (ISA). SeL4 is touted by Data61 as the world’s first operating system kernel that has been mathematically proven to be secure.

AustCyber’s South Australian Cyber Security Innovation Node has announced a new mentoring program for participants of its newly created cybersecurity traineeship, funded under the SA Government’s Skilling South Australia initiative. Organisations lending their support to the program include Salesforce, Microsoft, CISCO, CyberCX, Telstra, AustCyber, and Dtex.

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment has announced funding for a range of biosecurity initiatives, including DNA fingerprinting for imported dogs, virtual reality training for officers, and drones to manage feral pigs. The initiatives are part of the Federal Government’s $25.2 million Biosecurity Innovation Program.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has issued a new tender to upgrade its wireless networking framework across its Australian sites. The chosen tender partner will be required to deliver access points, controllers, identity management and national support. The tender closes on 24 June.

The Victorian Government is seeking feedback from principals, teachers, parents, and students on remote and flexible learning during the pandemic in a bid to improve the state’s education system. South Australia has similarly requested feedback from stakeholders on remote and flexible learning during the Covid lockdowns.

The University of NSW has signed an MoU with China-based civilian drones and aerial imaging technology developer DJI. The pair will collaborate on research, student training, scholarships and exchange programs.

The Federal Government has launched an online survey to help guide the development of a National Hydrogen Strategy – an effort to trace and certify where and how hydrogen is made as well as its associated environmental impacts.

Western Australia’s Minister for Finance, Ben Wyatt, has issued new rules to allow public sector departments and agencies to more easily purchase goods and services from private suppliers in a bid to assist industry through the Covid-19 lockdowns. Thresholds for public tender purchases have been lifted to $500,000.

The ACT’s Office of the Public Trustee and Guardian (PTG) has adjusted its policy for making Wills and Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPOA) in line with the changing Covid-19 restrictions, allowing the witnessing of signatures via audio-visual link.

New Zealand

The New Zealand Commerce Commission has requested feedback on potentially reducing red tape around its Mobile Access Termination Service (MTAS). MTAS services are currently price regulated to ensure consumers can access affordable calling and SMS regardless of which Mobile Network Operator they are with.