Government agencies did well out of this year’s federal budget, with the Coalition opening its wallet to fund initiatives in everything from e-health to cyber security.
Following the disastrous 2016 online Census, the government will hand the reins for cyber security governance across the public service to the Digital Transformation Agency through the creation of a new central Cyber Security Advisory Office (CSAO).
It will also give an undisclosed wad of cash to the Bureau of Meteorology to improve its IT security following the 2015 hack on the BoM’s systems.
Just over $374 million will be spent over the next two years to give every Australian an electronic health record by default.
Another $67.3 million will go towards the overhaul of the Medicare payments system.
The Immigration department has been handed $95.4 million to improve its storage and processing of biometric data and introduce a new risk processing system for travellers.
Australia’s banks will be forced to share a customer’s data when requested to do so by that customer. Treasury has been tasked with figuring out how the sharing scheme will work.
And Bitcoin enthusiasts will no longer need to pay the GST twice.
Other budget measures include:
- $7 million for the ACCC to implement the broadband performance monitoring and reporting program.
- $315.3 million for tranche two of the WPIT Centrelink IT systems replacement, as stated in the mid-year economic and fiscal outlook.
- $8.9 million for a new cultural and corporate shared services centre at the National Museum of Australia that will provide shared functions to other collecting institutions. It will involve the consolidation of IT platforms.
- $9 million for teleconferencing to facilitate Medicare-covered psychology services for those in rural and remote areas.
- $15.3 million for Digital Earth Australia, a “world-first” national big data analysis capability that will “enable measurement and detection of changes across the Australian landscape over time”. It will translate almost three decades of existing satellite imagery to access insights into the health of the Australian continent.
- A ban on the creation, use or sale of sales suppression technology that allows busineses to hide sales for the purpose of avoiding tax.