GovTech Weekly News Wrap – 24 September, 2020

Weekly news wrap of government technology

Federal Government unveils $4.5 billion nbn investment to boost network speeds, but backtracks on proposed last-mile fibre upgrade; security flaw uncovered in myGovID; and NZ releases new privacy guidance for agencies in lead up to new Privacy Act.

  • The Federal Government has announced a $4.5 billion investment in the National Broadband Network, promising faster broadband speeds to around eight million Australian homes by 2023. The initiative also includes $3.5 billion to deliver last-mile full fibre upgrades to just 400,000 premises on existing FTTN network – significantly less extensive than first promised.


  • New Zealand’s Digital Public Service has released new privacy guidance for agencies ahead of the country’s forthcoming Privacy Act 2020. The guidance will assist privacy officers across government in developing their respective agencies’ privacy programs.



  • Researchers have uncovered a “critical design flaw” within the Government’s myGov platform which could allow malicious actors to gain easy access to a user’s myGovID account and connected services, including welfare and ATO services.


  • Legislation to secure a “vital” bilateral CLOUD Act data-sharing deal with the US has reportedly been delayed. Negotiations between the Australian and US governments have been ongoing for almost a year, with the necessary amendement to enforce the Act in Australia introduced to parliament in March this year.


  • The Federal Government has unveiled a new initiative to provide businesses “premium-grade” NBN fibre services at no upfront cost to their retail service. The initiative, part of a $700 million package, gives businesses access to high-speed fibre broadband in an effort by the Government to “[boost] economic growth in regional and metropolitan Australia”.




  • Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) and Services Australia have launched a joint pilot program with Telstra to help block cybercriminals impersonating government citizen services, including myGov and Centrelink.


  • The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has confirmed a $21 million contract with DXC Technology Australia (DXC) to provide SAP and PeopleSoft system support, maintenance, and enhancement to the Department for the next three years.


  • The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has awarded a three-year contract to Vocus to provide 230 secure national data and internet services across 80 ATO sites.



  • Optus has installed its 100th Mobile Tower under the Australian Government’s $380 million Mobile Black Spot Program, providing added 3G and 4G mobile coverage remote and regional communities.


  • Australia’s Public Service Commissioner has launched a new Data Professional Stream in an effort to “lift the data capability of the APS workforce, to generate deeper insights, inform evidence-based decisions and enable more effective service delivery,” APS Commissioner Peter Woolcott said.


  • The Victorian Government has announced a $1.37 million investment in a new STEM Centre of Excellence. The specialist Centre will be built in partnership with the University of Melbourne.



  • NEC Australia has successfully completed an upgrade to its nearly three-decade-old digital microwave radio system, increasing link capacity five-fold. NEC says its VR10 platform plays a “critical role” in managing over 10 per cent of the world’s airspace.


  • Applications have opened for the NZ Government’s Digital Government Partnership Innovation Fund for 2020/2021. The $5 million Fund will give government organisations the opportunity to collaborate and invest in digital and data innovation.


  • The WA Government will provide $5.2 million to the regional town of Derby, based in the Kimberley, for renewable energy upgrades aimed at reducing energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.


  • The ACSC has called upon Australian-based water and wastewater organisations to participate in a national cybersecurity exercise aimed at increasing resilience in the sector. The exercise will enable organisations to test security arrangements and “ensure incident response plans are up to date.” Registrations close today.


  • The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has launched its Cyber Gap Program. The program offers financial support, mentoring, and Defence work experience opportunities for cyber students across Australia.


  • The WA Government will invest $150 million into a new “world-class” education campus in Perth which will include an advanced technology and cybersecurity centre. The project will be co-funded by the Federal Government.