A new data strategy was announced by the federal government on Tuesday morning, outlining a goal for Australia to have a modern, data-driven society by 2030.
The data strategy, a first for Australia, will focus on initiatives based around maximising the value of data, trust and protection, and enabling data use. The strategy sits alongside an action plan that sets out those initiatives and their expected delivery timeframes up to 2025.
At the end of 2025, the federal government will then update the data strategy to implement new initiatives up to 2030, said Stuart Robert, the Minister responsible for digital transformation.
Robert said the strategy was developed in consultation with private, research, and not-for-profit sectors.
"The data strategy is part of our commitment to deliver better services to all Australians, and it will power our national ambition to become a modern, data-driven society by 2030," Robert said.
In relation to the strategy's focus of maximising the value of data, the government will look to create a new "front door" for accessing Australian government open data, communicating about data better, and implementing the Data Availability and Transparency Scheme.
"Access to the right data and analytics can help government and private decision-makers tailor how they deliver these services. For example, Census data can not only be used to identify where services are needed, but also how to best tailor those services for the needs of Australians," the strategy outlines.
Practically, this will entail transitioning the data.gov.au website to become the "one-stop shop" for all Australians interacting with Australian government data by the end of next year.
On the trust and protection front, the strategy has called for the continued expansion of the consumer data right, as well as a review of the Privacy Act to see whether its enforcement mechanisms are fit for purposes in the digital age.
The AU$40 million investment into extending the National Disability Data Asset announced last week also falls under the strategy's scope.
Other initiatives within the data strategy include measuring the data maturity of government agencies, developing guidance on embedding data professional roles within all parts of Australian government agencies, investigating new and enhanced data collection and reporting methods, and establishing a new International Data Policy function within the Australian Public Service.
The national data strategy's release comes a fortnight after the federal government updated its digital government strategy, which saw it place more emphasis on uplifting digital ecosystems and reusing technologies to deliver more value for money.
When the digital government strategy refresh was announced, the federal government had been receiving backlash by a Senate committee for its lack of progress in auditing its IT capabilities, especially as it did not have a central data collection process related to IT expenditure across government.