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Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment selects new SaaS solution

The Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment (DAWE) has moved its finances to a Brisbane-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, making it the first ‘Tier 1’ department to move its finance system to SaaS. The CEO of the tech firm said the Department will receive all the benefits of software as a service, including stronger cybersecurity and software with the latest features.

The Department of Agriculture’s new finance solution will be deployed into the tech firm’s IRAP PROTECTED assessed SaaS solution, providing materially higher cybersecurity posture at no additional cost.

“This win is another proof point of the longevity of our 33-year journey and 99% customer retention, as we continue to deliver technology which is innovative and futureproof. As an Australian company, we are proud that our platform will find immediate efficiencies and modernise back-end processes, providing important improvements for hardworking staff on the frontline,” said the CEO.

The firm’s Australian technology will support the Department’s modernisation program, which is forecast to drive efficiencies across the import and export of primary industries. This will in turn support Australian producers and drive economic growth.

The firm has a record of supporting the government sector across federal, state and local jurisdictions. DAWE and the tech company are currently working together to migrate the on-premise environment to SaaS, with the process expected to be completed by the middle of the year.

DAWE utilising tech to conserve biodiversity

Through the Modern Seamless Border Clearance initiative, the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment has established itself as the world leader in biosecurity innovation and in streamlining border clearance.

Australia is undertaking a ground-breaking trial using 3D x-ray technology in a biosecurity environment. The department was the first biosecurity agency in the world to deploy 3D x-ray capability in the airport environment. Under this project, the department has also developed and deployed the world’s first algorithm to automatically detect biosecurity risk material.

Following these early successes, the Department now has 3D x-ray units installed in Melbourne International Airport and Melbourne International Mail Centre.  By mid-2020, 3D x-rays will also be operating at the Sydney International Mail Centre.

The innovative implementation of this technology has allowed the department to successfully increase detection of biosecurity risk items with 3D x-ray screening, resulting in double the detections in the airport and triple in the mail environment compared to current screening technologies.

The RTT 3D X-ray unit at the Melbourne mail centre recently discovered 107 live succulent plants with soil concealed in socks. The succulents were destroyed as they posed an unacceptable biosecurity risk.

The Head of Biosecurity at the Department stated that plant material such as live plants, seeds or bulbs could introduce unwanted foreign pests, diseases and invasive plant species into Australia.

“Exotic plant pests are capable of destroying our food production and agriculture industries, damaging our natural environment, and some could change our way of life,” he said.

“They can significantly damage our unique environment and impact on crops that we rely on for food production. Exotic invasive plants and weeds also threaten the survival of many plants—as well as native animals—by competing with native plants for space, nutrients and sunlight.

Australia is free from many of the invasive plants and weeds that are present in other parts of the world. Biosecurity is about keeping it that way. To minimise this risk, we have strict import conditions for all live plant material coming into the country.”

The Department is investing in innovative border screening technologies, including the 3D x-ray that detected these succulents, to ensure we remain the world leader in biosecurity.

The government is also constantly working to find new and better ways to manage the impact of invasive plants and weeds that are in Australia.

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