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In Other Government ICT and Digital News, 2 August 2023

by Cameron Sinclair •
Free resource


NSW has updated its computing and technology curriculum for the first time in two decades, the former PM has forcefully rejected the findings of the Robodebt royal commission, and NASA reveals a Top Gun prototype. 


Former PM Scott Morrison gave a forceful speech in parliament on 31 July disputing the findings of the Robodebt Royal Commission, describing them as “disproportionate, wrong, unsubstantiated and contradicted by clear evidence.” He specifically rejects that he allowed cabinet to be misled, provided untrue evidence to the commission, and pressured departmental officials. 

Home Affairs minister Clare O’Neil has called on former secretary of Defence and DFAT Dennis Richardson to investigate allegations of contract impropriety at Home Affairs. 

The latest Closing the Gap data has been released, again showing that progress is falling short of expectations and accountability is limited.  

The Commonwealth is encouraging small businesses to take advantage of grants to access up to four hours of one-on-one digital training, covering website development, e-commerce, social media, digital marketing, small business software, cyber security, and data privacy.  


NSW has made the first update to the state’s computing and technology curriculum in two decades. The updated syllabuses will now include UX design, mechatronics, data analysis and visualisation and object-oriented programming as well as machine learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and virtual and augmented reality. 

The state is also pressing the sheep and goat industry to apply for rebates to install electronic identification (eID) tag systems, emphasising that that scheme covers not just eID readers, software, and hardware, but also connectivity infrastructure, installation, training, project planning and design. 


Australia-US Ministerial Consultations AUSMIN convened in Brisbane over 28-30 July, with Penny Wong and Richard Marles meeting with their counterparts Tony Blinken and Lloyd Austin. The joint statement confirms that Australia's new Advanced Strategic Capabilities Accelerator (ASCA) will cooperate with the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). 

Progress to implement the AUKUS agreement continues to stumble along in the US, due to opposition from Democratic congressmen. House Republicans split from their Senate counterparts last week to approve a general exemption to export controls, but it’s a long way from the blanket exemption being sought by Australia and Britain to facilitate cooperation on advanced technologies, such as AI, quantum computing and hypersonic weapons. 

Anyone who thought the fictional SR-72 ‘Darkstar’ experimental Mach-10 hypersonic aircraft from the opening scenes of last year’s Top Gun film was too unrealistic should take a moment to watch footage of NASA’s very real Lockheed Martin X-59 QuessT experimental supersonic aircraft coming out of the hanger for the first time. 

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