4 November 2022


Data and Digital Ministers reconvened in Canberra today. The following Ministers attended:

  • Senator the Hon Katy Gallagher (Commonwealth)
  • The Hon Victor Dominello MP (New South Wales)
  • The Hon Leeanne Enoch MP (Queensland) 
  • The Hon Madeleine Ogilvie MP (Tasmania)
  • Mr Chris Steel MLA (Australian Capital Territory)
  • The Hon Ngaree Ah Kit MLA (Northern Territory) 

Senator the Hon Katy Gallagher, in her capacity as Chair, welcomed new and returning members. Ministers noted the Victorian Government is in a caretaker period. 

The Hon Bill Shorten MP and the Hon Clare O’Neil MP also attended the meeting.

Identity resilience 

Recent data breaches highlight the urgent and growing need to protect the identities of Australians from identity-related theft. Identity crime costs Australia more than $2 billion each year and causes major distress to individuals who fall victim. Australians’ digital identities need to be hard to steal and, if compromised, easy to restore. 

Our best defence is a nationally consistent approach to identity resilience, with all jurisdictions working together on common objectives, standards and practices. Ministers agreed to collaborate on developing a National Strategy for Identity Resilience to be finalised in early 2023. The Strategy will support implementation of more resilient identities to reduce the likelihood and consequence of compromised identities, to improve how businesses and government respond, and to better support impacted individuals.

Digital identity

Ministers agreed to continue developing digital identity systems collaboratively so Australians have an easy, safe and secure way to prove who they are when accessing government services online. Government services protected by a national approach to digital identity will also improve identity resilience, including so entities can meet customer identification requirements while collecting less personally identifiable information.

National Data Sharing Work Program

Data sharing between the Commonwealth, states and territories improves government services for all Australians. Ministers agreed to the second National Data Sharing Work Program to address national priority data sharing areas and reform the Commonwealth, state and territory data sharing system.

Data and Digital Ministers will support relevant portfolio Ministers to improve data sharing so progress against the Closing the Gap target on providing equivalent essential services to Indigenous communities can be better measured. On system reform, Ministers agreed to advance two initiatives:

  1. develop a Multilateral Data Sharing Agreement to streamline data sharing between governments for the National Disability Data Asset and to be re-used as a model agreement for data to be shared once and used often in other government service areas.
  2. develop a National Data Catalogue of public data assets. A National Data Catalogue will support inter-jurisdictional data sharing, access and use across all jurisdictions by bringing together multiple data inventories held and managed by Commonwealth, state and territory governments. This initiative will streamline data discovery and shorten the time taken to identify and access relevant data, supporting governments to make the best decisions, including when responding to future health or other emergencies.

Ministers also agreed to advance data sharing to support the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-32. 

Digital inclusion 

Ministers remain committed to digital inclusion as a standing item on the agenda.

New Zealand is not a party to this communiqué.

Information on the Data and Digital Ministers Meeting, including previous meeting communiqués, can be found at [https://www.finance.gov.au/publications/data-and-digital-ministers-meet…].  

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