NSW invests $1.6b in digital infrastructure fund

By Shannon Jenkins

Friday June 19, 2020

Gladys Berejiklian
Gladys Berejiklian (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

The New South Wales government will invest a record $1.6 billion into digital infrastructure and cyber security capability as part of its plan to embark on a whole-of-government digital transformation.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Thursday said investing in the Digital Restart Fund (DRF) would allow the government to kick off beneficial digital projects.

“We are already using technology to make life easier for customers. Whether it’s the Digital Driver Licence, Energy Switch or Park’nPay, our digital products provide added choice and convenience,” she said.

The funding would be provided over three years, with $240 million to go towards bolstering the government’s cyber security capability. It would do this by protecting existing systems, deploying new technologies, and increasing the cyber workforce, according to customer service minister Victor Dominello.

“This is the biggest single cyber security investment in national history, and will strengthen the government’s capacity to detect and respond to the fast moving cyber threat landscape,” he said.

“We are leading the nation on bricks and mortar infrastructure and this historic investment will position us to develop a world leading cyber security industry and be a jobs hub for this critical multi-billion-dollar sector.”

The funding would also go towards providing more government services online and via Service NSW; and improving the digital experience across agencies, including in education and health.

READ MORE: Systemic challenges for digital public sector reform

The DRF was established in the 2019 budget with seed funding of $100 million over two years, to “fund a whole-of-government digital transformation that will enhance customer experiences”, and promote the use of common platforms across government to “remove duplication and increase efficiency”.

It offers to fund digital initiatives that:

  • deliver changes that improve citizen experience across End to End journeys, with faster time to market,
  • create cost savings and consistent user experience through increasing agencies’ use of core and common ICT components,
  • support agency digital innovation, ICT modernisation, and re-uses common platforms, known as State Digital Assets,
  • build and nurture digital capability across the public sector.

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