Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) and Westpac have teamed up to deploy 51 drones around Australia during the nation's beach-going months. The drones are intended to provide aerial vision and surveillance to help spot rips and swimmers in distress, and could in future drop buoyancy devices to swimmers, the pair said. Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) President Graham Ford said the drones will be "hugely beneficial". "There is no better time than now to welcome new technologies that can help us protect more Australians," he said. The drones will be located throughout the New South Wales and Queensland coasts; at St Kilda and Frankston in Victoria, as well as a mobile unit; Semaphore Beach and Christies Beach in South Australia; at Frederick Henry Bay in Tasmania; at Cottesloe, Fremantle, Meelup, Smiths Beach, Secret Harbour, City Beach, Trigg, and Mullaloo in Western Australia; and one unit in Darwin.
NEC has announced plans to establish a AU 4.38 million Global Security Intel Centre (GSIC) in Adelaide that will focus on Internet of Things (IoT) security. The IT services firm expects the cost of cyber attacks against enterprise and government IT systems to rise as the adoption of smart technologies and connected devices that make up the IoT accelerates. Once established, the centre will form part of NEC's cybersecurity network, with the GSIC expected to complement security-focused facilities located globally, including Japan and Singapore. The South Australian government has welcomed the GSIC, calling it a major boost to the state's IT capabilities. "Cybersecurity is a rapidly growing sector, and is attracting increasing attention and investment.
The Northern Territory government has published its Budget for 2018-19, revealing its plans to spend AU$18.38 million on new initiatives under the Department of Corporate and Information Services. According to the Agency Budget Statements paper [PDF], new initiatives include increasing remote communications connectivity and capacity, for which it has set aside AU$2.55 million for 2018-19; AU$250,000 for "strengthening cybersecurity"; AU$10.3 million for rolling out a client management system on behalf of Territory Families; and AU$3.28 million for relocating the Chan datacentre. Existing initiatives under the department have also received funding, including AU$70.2 million for the core clinical systems renewal program for the Department of Health; AU$19.3 million for a policing management system for police, fire, and emergency services; and AU$2.7 million for an identity and access management system. It also set aside AU$2 million for the 2018-22 Remote Telecommunications Co-Investment Program with Telstra, after the territory government spent AU$5 million last financial year on the 2015-18 Remote Telecommunications Co-Investment Program with Telstra. According to the Budget Strategy and Outlook [PDF], the government will be spending AU$14 million over four years from 2018-19 for the new Remote Telecommunications Co-Investment Program, and AU$8.5 million on remote communications connectivity and capacity.
CANBERRA – The United States, Japan and Australia are cooperating on a domestic internet cable proposal for Papua New Guinea as an alternative to an offer by Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant that the United States regards as a cybersecurity threat, a U.S. diplomat said Friday. The Australian government blocked Huawei in August from rolling out Australia's 5G network due to security issues and has concerns about the company's involvement in the telecommunication infrastructure of its nearest neighbor, Papua New Guinea. The U.S. charge d'affaires to Australia, James Carouso, said the three Pacific defense allies were negotiating with the impoverished South Pacific island nation of 8 million people, mostly subsistence farmers, on its internet contract. "We're working on a counter offer," Carouso told Australian Broadcasting Corp. "These are negotiations that are going on. Papua New Guinea minister Justin Tkatchenko said his government was willing to work with Australia on the internet network if it offered a better deal than Huawei, The Australian newspaper reported Friday.
In 2015, three scientists sent an anguished note to the journal Conservation Letters. Anti-shark paranoia was settling over Western Australia, and the state government had issued a controversial kill order. Scientists said the cull's safety benefits were unproven and could potentially hurt recovering populations of white sharks. Worse, they claimed at least one shark marked for death was located only because it had been acoustically tagged by researchers. The policy was eventually abandoned, but it highlighted an important point: Fitting animals with transmitters so scientists can track their every movement may also leave them vulnerable.