The NSW Department of Customer Service will receive $80 million in funding for cyber security and $66 million for its digital restart fund, two areas that were in need of a cash injection.
In the state budget, handed down Tuesday, the government said that the department would receive money for programs that “would otherwise be unfunded”. [pdf]
This includes an additional $232.5 million for Service NSW through to 2026-27 “to continue critical services and meet projected demand in coming years”.
There is also a cash injection of $80 million for the Department of Customer Service and Service NSW to continue critical cyber security activities”, according to the budget papers.
While not specifically named, this is close to the estimated shortfall amount that the state’s whole-of-government cyber security office, Cyber Security NSW, was said to be facing back in April.
Elsewhere in the budget papers [pdf], $66 million is earmarked to be added to the digital restart fund, which has previously backed large-scale digital transformation in the state to the tune of over $2 billion.
It was reported earlier this year that the fund required an injection of cash in the budget, as its cash reserves dwindled.
Another technology bright spot in the budget is several allocations for emergency communications services.
The NSW Telco Authority will get $11.3 million to spend on four new broadband cell on wheels or COWs – mobile base stations on wheels that can be towed to site and get people in disaster areas reconnected.
“Self-powered and mounted on trailers, the COWs can be deployed to disaster areas to provide internet and mobile phone (wi-fi and 4G) coverage during and after emergencies,” Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib said in a statement. [pdf]
Dib said another $11.3 million would flow to the Rural Fire Service to “begin the rollout of fit-for-purpose vehicle-as-a-node (VAAN) technology.”
“The upgrades will provide seamless internet connectivity to firefighting vehicles, enhancing communication and operational efficiency,” he said.
In addition [pdf], NSW Police is set to receive $27 million “for critical police operational radio communicating capabilities across the south, southwest and far west” of the state.
Real-time bus info
The government will hand $15.8 million to Transport for NSW “to invest in the Public Transport Information and Priority System to improve real time bus tracking for passengers.”
“This investment will help end ‘ghost buses’ and improve the reliability and confidence of passengers,” Minister for Transport Jo Haylen said. [pdf]