Minister's foreword

It is time now to go further—to transform the data system in Australia and the way data is made available and used.

The Hon. Michael Keenan MP
The Hon. Michael Keenan MP

Australia's data is a major national resource, offering enormous opportunity for citizens, business and government to make better informed decisions and develop innovative products and services.

Unlocking data enables more targeted and effective policy development and program delivery, and increases personal choice and competition. Data-driven innovation has been estimated to add up to $64 billion per annum to the Australian economy.

The Australian Government recognises our nation's capacity to remain competitive in the modern, global economy relies on our ability to harness the power of our nation’s data. That is why the Turnbull Government put in place the Public Data Policy Statement in 2015, committing government agencies to a range of actions designed to optimise the use and reuse of public sector data.

It is now time to go further – to transform the data system in Australia and the way data is made available and used.

Recognising there are a number of barriers preventing optimal use of data in Australia, the Government requested the Productivity Commission undertake an inquiry into the benefits and costs of making public and private sector data more available.

In response to the Productivity Commission’s comprehensive inquiry into Data Availability and Use, the Australian Government will invest $65 million over the forward estimates to reform the Australian data system and introduce a range of measures to implement the Productivity Commission's recommendations.

There are three key features underpinning these reforms:

  1. A new Consumer Data Right will give citizens greater transparency and control over their own data.
  2. A National Data Commissioner will implement and oversee a simpler, more efficient data sharing and release framework. The National Data Commissioner will be the trusted overseer of the public data system.
  3. New legislative and governance arrangements will enable better use of data across the economy while ensuring appropriate safeguards are in place to protect sensitive information.

These reforms will help empower Australian citizens, governments, industries and researchers to use and share data, while maintaining the strict privacy, security and transparency safeguards essential to maintain trust in the system.

These advances to Australia's data system will mean we can harness the power of data to drive innovation and opportunity for the Australian economy.

The Hon. Michael Keenan MP
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Digital Transformation