With just one week left in the financial year the 2023-24 Budget season is almost over. Intermedium has analysed 8 out 10 jurisdictions across Australia and NZ, with ACT delivering their Budget next week and NSW in September. In other news, the Australian Electoral Commission is seeking a Senate ‘scroll scanner,’ the Data and Digital Ministers Meeting (DDMM) is coming up, NZ is in a technical recession and the UK has issued a revised national geospatial strategy.
The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is on the lookout for a digital solution to expedite the counting of preferences on our six-foot wide senate ballot papers. To be clear, the tender does not propose consigning these mighty scrolls to the dustbin of history ("the AEC upholds the sanctity of the ballot paper”), but the successful supplier will need to be able to process north of 17 million in time for the election after next, estimated to be in either 2027 or 2028.
The Greens are continuing to pursue both the current and former governments to reveal the total cost of the controversial cashless debit scheme ‘since its inception.’ This week the current minister responsible, Amanda Rishworth, provided recent AusTender contract information but declined to reveal further details, due to various commercial in confidence considerations.
With the federal parliament about to go into a five-week winter break, digital minister Katy Gallagher has reiterated the call for submissions to the combined national data and digital strategy before 25 July.
We are expecting the Data and Digital Ministers Meeting (DDMM) to take place later this week.
STATE BY STATE
States and territories remain fairly quiet on the digital news front, as politicians primarily focus on debating the details of their recently announced budgets and passing associated budget bills.
The ACT will deliver its budget next Tuesday, 27 June, the ninth jurisdiction to do so, bringing this year’s two-month long ‘budget season’ to a close.
The only jurisdiction that is still to reveal its spending plans for the upcoming year is NSW, with the incoming Labor government scheduled to deliver the budget in three months, on Tuesday 19 September.
The prospects of the Digital Restart Fund (DRF) getting a cash top up are not looking good, with Treasurer Daniel Mookhey delivering a bleak ‘June financial statement update’ in the chamber yesterday, warning that spiralling debt threatens the state’s AAA credit ratings.
Tasmania’s string of data breach woes continue, after personal information was inadvertently included among hundreds of records from the Port Arthur Historic site published on the state archives website.
The WA government has announced the finalists of its $5 million Pilbara digital healthcare innovation challenge, a clever competition to encourage firms to trial high-tech solutions across the remote community. The ten proposals that have progressed to the Proof-of-Concept stage include several virtual healthcare systems, AI-optical cameras, and a Pilbara digital twin.
New Zealand has officially entered a (technical) recession, which occurs when GDP falls for two successive quarters. PM Hipkins was quick to emphasise the impact of Cyclone Gabrielle earlier in the year and said that a “0.1 percent fall in GDP is sort of margin of error.”
The US Office of National Intelligence (ONI) has declassified a report on Commercially Available Information (CAI) revealing that agencies are purchasing and stockpiling large amounts of “sensitive and intimate information” on citizens from companies willing to sell it.
And in great news for map nerds, the UK government has released an updated Geospatial Strategy 2030, pledging to ‘drive greater use of geospatial applications and insights’ across the economy. The document includes plans to release a National Underground Asset Register (NUAR), electric vehicle charging locations, land use analysis data, and continue to support the ‘Government Geography Profession’ stream. Noted!