State and federal ministers have agreed to a new sharing regime dubbed the ‘Australian Data Network’. 

The Data and Digital Ministers’ Meeting last week agreed to a national program of work on data sharing between jurisdictions.

They backed the creation of the National Data Sharing Work Program, which follows the signing by the National Cabinet in July of the intergovernmental Agreement on Data Sharing.

The governments have agreed to share data with all other jurisdictions as a default position, saying data is a “shared national asset”.

The governments pledged only to engage in sharing “where it can be done securely, safely, lawfully and ethically.”

The first three priority areas for the new data regime are national hazards and emergency management, waste management, and road safety.

Future priority data sharing areas include family, domestic and sexual violence, Closing the Gap, and veteran’s health.

The minister’s agreed to advance system reforms including; the creation of an Australian Data Network, standard operating procedures for data sharing activities, improving data discoverability through machine readable metadata for data sharing priorities, and the introduction of a share-once, use-often model for aggregate de-identified administrative data. 

The ministers have discussed ideas including digital birth certificates and ways to support future citizen engagement with different governments.