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In other government ICT and digital news, 21 February 2023

by Cameron Sinclair •
Free resource


In what is now old news, we learned that the final Defence Strategic Review (DSR) report has been handed to the government broke prior to last week’s newsletter. It will now be taking ‘the necessary time’ to consider its recommendations. 

The Attorney General has released proposals to bring the Privacy Act into the digital age, including the right to erasure. Submissions on the 100+ recommendations close on 31 March. 

While Senators were putting in long hours in Senate Estimates last week, Lower House ministers were busy taking photos of themselves in consultations. 

Stephen Jones was getting the Scam gang together, bringing together "banks, telcos, digital platforms, consumer groups, telcos and regulators,” with the role of telcos clearly important enough to invite them twice. 

Cyber ministers Claire O’Neil and Assistant Foreign Affairs minister Tim Watts hosted a panel "with industry, academia partners on the international pillar of the led Cyber Security Strategy.” 

The CEO of the Tech Council of Australia, Kate Pounder, addressed the National Press Club on ‘What's Next for Post-Pandemic Australia’ with a speech that ‘was not written by ChatGPT.’ Addressing skill shortages, she noted the disconnect between the surging growth in tech jobs, and the relatively stagnant number of people training for them.  

The AEC is now allowing people to use their Medicare card number or Citizenship Certificate number to enrol to vote or update your enrolment details, just in time for the Aston by-election on 1 April (April fools!) 

The fallout from ANAO’s not so great investigation into the DTA continues, with the digital agency setting up a new "Reports and Insights" page with procurement data. 

The Robodebt Royal Commission is back, with hearings continuing in Brisbane this week.  

PM Albanese is scheduled to address the Press Club on national security, on Wednesday 22 February. 

State by State 

Sydney is host to the Quantum Australia conference in Sydney 21-23 February. We are patiently waiting for Ed Husic to release national Quantum Strategy. 

NSW Finance Minister Damien Tudehope has resigned from cabinet amid revelations he held shares in tolling giant Transurban, making him guilty of the same sin that Victoria’s Treasurer Tim Pallas was found to have committed in 2019, and triggering revelations of a similar transgression by the current Victorian Assistant Treasurer Danny Pearson... What does this have to do with the ICT market? All of the various parliamentary registers of pecuniary interests around the country are in dire need of modernisation to make them usable and searchable. Although interested citizens have attempted to fill the gap. 


The devastation caused by Cyclone Gabrielle in New Zealand is likely to have a significant impact on both the national budget, expected in May, and on the bandwidth of politicians, who will obviously need to be more focused on their communities than their portfolios. 

Fiji will host the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Special Leaders Retreat from 23-24 February in Denarau, Nadi. We are keeping an eye on the Federal Government’s commitment to supporting regional telco and cyber capability. 

An update on the EU-Australia Trade talks: the Guardian reports that officials have finalised three chapters of the agreement – on competition, telecommunications and maritime services – during a round of negotiations in Canberra last week, but is getting bogged down on usage of geographical indications (GI)… don’t say ‘Spanish Champagne’. 

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