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NSW Forging Ahead with Digitalisation

The NSW Government is investing in the infrastructure and services needed to ensure the state can take full advantage of the digital area, according to the Chief Data Scientist of NSW. In remarks coinciding with the virtual Power and Peril of the Digital Age conference, hosted by the Royal Society of NSW, the Chief Data Scientist of NSW said the Department of Customer Service’s commitment to developing digital infrastructure for government interactions left the state well placed to navigate the challenges of COVID-19.

The NSW Government continues to push the boundaries with integrated digital innovations and services to support customers now and into the future. This is far-reaching, from real-time parking information on the Park’n Pay app or capability to provide a digital driver licence from within the Service NSW app, he said.

These projects are an example of how the NSW Government is embracing technology to better respond to customer needs whether it’s an easier way to share their identity or find a convenient parking space. The Chief Data Scientist also said that during the pandemic the Department of Customer Service accelerated digital improvements to services in weeks which could otherwise have taken months.

NSW was one of the first Australian jurisdictions to roll out a COVID-Safe check-in system in 2020 to keep customers safe and businesses open. They were also able to quickly refine and evolve this technology based on customer feedback, such as extending the time the Service NSW app remained logged in, making it easier for people to check-in without removing their face mask to log on, or entering a passcode every time.

Recently, the NSW Government announced that grants are available to NSW’s best engineers, scientists, and researchers for their innovative solutions to lower carbon emissions and accelerate the state’s clean industrial revolution into the future. Applications are open for the $40 million Clean Technology Research and Development (R&D) Grants program, which encourages the development of innovative technologies and services to lower industry carbon emissions.

The grants program is targeting co-investment in early-stage technologies to reduce emissions in three key areas:

  • Electrification and energy systems,
  • primary industry and land management, and
  • power fuels, including hydrogen.

Growing the digital economy

The potential benefits to the Australian economy through digitalisation have been estimated to be as much as $315 billion over the next decade, with the potential to create up to a quarter of a million new jobs by 2025.

With other countries investing heavily in their digital futures, actions over the next 10 years will determine whether the country leads or falls behind its global competitors.

COVID-19 accelerated the take up of digital technology and highlighted the role it can play to support and enhance business operations across every sector of the economy, improve the delivery of government services and make life easier for Australians. From telehealth and electronic prescriptions to online sales, cloud computing and remote working, COVID-19 has driven a huge leap forward in Australia’s digital capability and its appetite for data.

The 2021-22 Budget supports the Digital Economy Strategy through $1.2 billion in strategic investments to unlock the value of data, drive investment and uptake of emerging technologies, build the skills required for a modern economy, and enhance government service delivery. This builds on the $800 million Digital Business Plan, the $1.67 billion Cyber Security Strategy 2020, the $1 billion JobTrainer fund and the $4.5 billion upgrade plan for the NBN. These investments will drive greater productivity, high-quality jobs, and income growth across the economy.

The Government also launched the Digital Economy Strategy which out the pathways to guide future actions, set ambitious targets and will be continually renewed to realise our vision of being a leading digital economy and society by 2030.

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