2018 has been a big year, and quite a mixed bag. We got a new national Notifiable Data Breaches scheme, which was a step forward in ensuring that if an organisation collected and then lost control of your information, they had to tell you about it. The 457 visa scheme was replaced with a ‘Temporary Skills Shortage’ visa — in theory a move in the right direction, but ultimately one that was made with little industry consultation. The jury is still out on whether this will ultimately be a positive for the nation.
The nbn continues to lurch from one issue to another. After claims that even if they offered high-speed connections that nobody would take them, the nbn started suffering an inability to deliver data to all the high-speed connections they were selling, and then turned around and offered a better bundled CVC deal to RSPs. The Multi-Technology Mix continues to cause issues, with inconsistent performance across technologies and HFC still not available for many users after nbn was forced to hold off connections while they addressed technical issues with a product never designed for wholesale to multiple parties.
The My Health Record system was another failure for the federal government, with poor decisions centring on the design, serious concerns about the system’s ability to maintain privacy of the individuals with records, and forcing people to opt-out of a system that should have been opt-in all along. The government was forced into an embarrassing backdown and delayed the enforced opt-out date significantly, which is a positive step.
And of course, we recently had all of the issues with The Assistance and Access Bill (2018) — a Bill nearly three years in the making. When it finally surfaced in late 2018 during Department of Home Affairs and PJCIS reviews, it was so poorly put together that — aside from groups who will benefit from it — it received nearly universal condemnation from technical, privacy, civil rights and legal groups, some government agencies (state and federal), corporates and even the United Nations. And yet, despite all this, and even with the federal Labor party admitting it was seriously flawed, it was passed on the last sitting day of parliament for the year with a promise to “consider” fixing it in the New Year.
All that aside, as we wind down towards the end of the year, it is important to reflect on the positives, be thankful for the blessing of family and friends, and take some time to relax over the Christmas break.
Thank you for your support in 2018. ITPA is a membership organisation, and we wouldn’t exist without the support of our members. Relax, recharge and get ready for another big year in 2019 — hopefully one where the successes outweigh the failures.
Merry Christmas all!