WA Auditor General recommends inter-agency cooperation to counter malware


Western Australia's Office of the Auditor General (OAG) has made six recommendations to state government agencies after it was found six agencies had previously been the target of malware campaigns. According to the OAG, the six agencies probed -- which included the Department of the Attorney General, Department of Mines and Petroleum, Department of Transport, Main Roads Western Australia, and the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) -- were under constant threat, which it said highlighted the need for improved central governance arrangements to identify, warn of, and prevent attacks. In its report [PDF], Malware in the WA State Government, the OAG said as a result of the audit, it made "detailed recommendations" to each agency that came under the microscope. The explicit details were not published, but instead, the OAG offered up the broader six recommendations it made, which included an in-depth assessment of the risk to the agency malware poses, improving any controls the OAG identified as ineffective, and that each agency consider additional controls to better secure its networks, systems, and data against malware. TPG to focus on FttB, mobile, corporate business to manage NBN margin squeeze Productivity Commission draft report calls time on USO as NBN looms Risk vs. Opportunity: Data use and availability in Australia NSW government seeks partner to trial Uber-like public transport Optus inks AU$40m contract extension with security firm Suretek Under the careful watch of the OGCIO, the Auditor General said it wants to see the WA public sector consider methods to foster "collaboration, information, and resource sharing" between agencies.

NSW to invest AU$600m in critical comms network


The New South Wales government will be introducing its Telecommunications Bill to parliament on Wednesday along with a AU$600 million investment in critical communications agencies, Minister for Finance, Services and Property Victor Dominello has revealed. "Previously critical Gov agencies such as @NSWAmbulance, @NSWSES and @nswpolice had separate radio networks. We are investing $600m to create a single network for these frontline services." The state government had earlier this year announced that NSW law enforcement would be receiving AU$151.1 million in 2018-19 -- AU$467.3 million over four years -- under the 2018-19 Budget for its Critical Communications Enhancement Program (CCEP) to expand the coverage of the Government Radio Network and improve critical communications during emergencies. Under Section 16(1) of the public consultation draft of the Telecommunications Bill [PDF] published in June, government agencies are required to use the state government's telco network for operational communications, which is described in s3 as being "voice and data communications to facilitate the exercise of public safety functions by a government sector agency".

How James's tragic death inspired world-first cameras that catch drivers using mobile phones


Drivers may think twice about using their mobile phones, after the NSW Government announced a trial of world-first technology able to catch them in the act while behind the wheel. The new high-definition cameras have already detected more than 11,000 drivers using their mobile phones during a month-long test during October, Roads Minister Melinda Pavey said. "Shockingly, one driver was pictured with two hands on his phone while his passenger steered the car travelling at 80kph, putting everyone on the road at risk," she said. "We saw people on Facebook, people texting. We saw people trying to be tricky by having their phone below the window line of their vehicles. "It is a very dangerous act to keep your eyes down low and not on the road, which is why this technology we expect will have a huge impact on driver behaviour and therefore road safety.

South Australia to dump third party app after failure to alert on bushfires


The South Australian government will dump a smartphone app designed to send emergency warnings to people after it crashed during catastrophic bushfire conditions at the weekend.

NBN fibre for Western Tasmania under both parties


The Australian government under Labor or Liberal leadership will deliver a fibre-based National Broadband Network (NBN) solution to Western Tasmania, according to policy announced by both parties over the weekend. On Saturday, Communications Minister Mitch Fifield announced that the Coalition will replace satellite coverage for over 2,700 premises in Tasmania with fibre to the node (FttN) in the towns of Queenstown, Rosebery, and Zeehan, and fixed-wireless for Strahan. "I'm very pleased to be able to announce today that the federal and Tasmanian governments will put AU 18.5 million towards this project so that the West Coast of Tasmania, the major towns of Rosebery, Queenstown, and Zeehan, will be able to access fibre to the node technology and the town of Strahan will have fixed wireless," Fifield said on Saturday. AU 4.5 million of the fibre-centric rollout will be funded through the Tasmanian government making the existing and unused state-owned TasNetworks fibre-optic cabling available to NBN under a no-cost, long-term lease model, in addition to AU 14 million in funding from the federal government. Fifield added that the plan would fall under NBN's technology choice program, which allows people to apply to change the NBN technology being used to connect their premises by contributing to the cost difference.