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Govt commits $800m to digital infrastructure upgrade

Bulk of funding flows to digital ID, business register modernisation.

The federal government will inject more than $676 million to continue the development of its digital identity system and streamline the country’s business registers in a bid to help businesses weather the impacts of the pandemic.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison unveiled the funding as part of an $800 million digital business plan aimed at reforming how businesses interact with government in the wake of the coronavirus.

Ahead of next week’s delayed federal budget, Morrison said businesses had undergone “a decade of change in months”, relying on digital technology to continue operating through the crisis.

“Our JobMaker Digital Business Plan provides significant backing to continue that digital push and expand opportunities for businesses to grow and create more jobs,” he said announcing the package on Tuesday.

“The plan supports Australia’s economic recovery by removing out-dated regulatory barriers, boosting the capability of small businesses and backs the uptake of technology across the economy.”

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the digital infrastructure package was expected to “increase Australia’s GDP by $6.4 billion a year by 2024”.

Digital ID

Central to the package is a further $256.6 million for the government to continue developing the Govpass digital identity system – more than doubling the government’s investment over the past five years.

The system, specifically the myGovID digital identity credentialing app, received $67.2 million in last year’s budget, including for integration into the online government services portal myGov.

But, as revealed by iTnews in July, the two systems – myGovID and myGov – are yet to…

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