Human Services data centre consolidation nears completion

The Australian Department of Human Services has almost completed its massive data centre consolidation project, with the opening of a new centre in Fyshwick.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

The Department of Human Services is edging closer to completing the consolidation of its datacentres, with the opening of a new centre in Fyshwick.

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Human Services Minister Marise Payne today opened the new centre, stating that it will be open to multiple departments and agencies to cut down on costs for the government.

"This data centre is a great example of collaboration across government agencies to deliver modern technology that's value for money for Australian taxpayers," Turnbull said in a statement.

"The security and reliability offered by this new facility means the government is in a strong position to expand the services offered through its various digital channels and provide services to various Commonwealth agencies.

"The Fyshwick data centre has also been specifically designed to ensure an energy conscious and cost effective use of resources. The building is nearly entirely self-sufficient with its water requirements thanks to a clever water retention system, and an LED lighting system ensures power isn't used unnecessarily."

In 2012, Human Services began its journey to reduce the number of data centres it operated out of from 13 to three, and in 2014 announced it would go further to reduce the number of data centres down to two at the end of 2014.

Payne said the datacentre was an important step in the government's move to overhaul the 30-year-old welfare payments system.

"This is a secure, efficient, 21st century data centre that will work hand-in-hand with the welfare payment system we will be implementing over the coming years," Payne said in a statement.

"The Department administers over AU$159 billion in government payments to millions of Australians, so it is absolutely imperative we have measures in place to ensure we can deliver vital government services 24/7."

A spokesperson for Payne had not provided comment on the delay in finalising the consolidation project at the time of writing.

In the federal Budget, Human Services received AU$60.5 million over four years in funding for business planning and scoping of the new system.

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