NSW customer service, digital minister Dominello calls it quits

Victor Dominello Retirement
Victor Dominello presenting at the FST Government NSW 2021 virtual event

NSW Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government, Victor Dominello, has announced his retirement from politics, citing a “family health issue” for his forthcoming departure. Dominello will stand down by the next state election, due in early 2023.

The popular Member for Ryde (based in northern Sydney) – first elected to NSW parliament in 2008 and serving as a Minister since 2011 – emerged as the state’s digital tsar and most prominent tech evangelists over his decade in NSW Cabinet.

He was appointed inaugural Ministry for Innovation and Minister for Better Regulation in 2015 under the Baird and subsequently Berejiklian Governments before taking on perhaps his most prominent posting as Australia’s first Ministry for Customer Services in 2019 – also among the world’s first dedicated customer services portfolios.

The NSW Government acknowledged Dominello’s formative role in advancing digital government in NSW, noting his critical oversight of the digital end of the state’s one-stop-shop customer service portal, Service NSW – a service which, the Government said, “has fundamentally changed the way people interact with the NSW Government, and helped them access support and save time and money”.

Among the Minister’s achievements under the Service NSW banner include Covid lockdown-ready rollouts of the QR check-ins service, Dine & Discover e-vouchers, and digital Covid certificates, alongside an array of digital licences, including drivers and trade licences.

Dominello, a keen advocate of open data in government, has also had a hand in the ongoing development of the state’s Digital Twin – a 4D, real-time digital map of the state, providing a visualised representation of key infrastructure, transportation, water, and land use, among other variables.

The Minister was also particularly proud of overseeing the development of the IoT-enabled Park’nPay service, a real-time vehicle parking search and payments facility, recently announcing that a real-time disabled parking search function will be added to the service.

More recently, Dominello has been a keen advocate for the development of a digital identity for the state, elevating it as the “number one priority” within his office.

Over the remaining seven months of his ministerial tenure, Dominello said he plans on “seeing through a number of important projects”, including the rollout of a digital birth certificate, an education wallet, verifiable credentials and eConveyancing reform.

The Minister gave his thanks to the “NSW Liberal Party, my parliamentary colleagues, [and] my local branch and conference members who have put their faith in me over 14 years and four elections”.

Dominello added: “Last but not least, I’ve been lucky enough to work and collaborate with some of the most talented and passionate public servants in the country across a number of portfolios.

“I especially want to thank Emma Hogan [Secretary for Digital and NSW DCS] and her team at the Department of Customer Service for their stellar leadership and support throughout my tenure.”

Dominello recently took on the Ministries of Small Business and Fair Trading, assuming the portfolios earlier this month from Eleni Petinos, who was spectacularly stood down from Cabinet.

Dominello said he will serve out his term as Member for Ryde and as Cabinet minister until the next state election on 25 March 2023.

The Customer Services Minister is the third big-name loss for the Perrottet Government within the last month, with the resignations of NSW Deputy Liberal Party leader and Enterprise, Investment and Trade Minister Stuart Ayers, and Minister for Small Business and the Minister for Fair Trading, Eleni Petinos, following recent inquiries into NSW public sector appointments and operations.