Aust Post to become QLD Transport hubs

First govt agency signs onto smartcard drivers' licence

Australia Post offices will become Queensland Transport outposts under a pilot to integrate business services with the state's incoming smartcard drivers' licence.

The pilot will provide residents with QLD Transport payment and processing services at Australia Post outlets, and may integrate full services if the trial is successful.

Australia Post business systems manager Jyoti Bhatatcharjee said integration with the licence will make it easier for the public to deal with government agencies.

“People can come into Australia Post rather go to the general authorities, which will open services up more to the public,” Bhatatcharjee said.

“Initially for the pilot we will deal with general drivers' license [processes] like photos and payments, but we could later include everything.”

Queensland Transport called on other state government agencies to integrate their core services with the smart card drivers' licence which is set to be completed next year.

The card, which will replace an antiquated laminated licence for the state's three million drivers, will allow registered clubs, car hire companies and other government agencies to access user data embedded in the licence and stored in government databases for validation of identity, address, and whether an individual is allowed to drive. The cards will also provide for the automatic transfer of vehicle registration.

Head of the Queensland drivers' licence Judy Oswin said the card will safeguard privacy and facilitate safer online transactions.

“No other government department needs to create a new investment in this,” Oswin said at a Sydney conference this month.

“[The department] will oversee the integration of additional services on the card.”

New Zealand and other Australian states may adopt a similar drivers' licence model as the New Queensland Driver License project, and Oswin said NSW already has solid plans to deploy a similar licence.

New services can be added to the licence in minutes and tight access controls exist to protect encrypted personal data, according to driver's licence architect Stephen Burmester.

Unisys will design some 370 image capture devices to be used in Queensland Transport customer service centres, police stations and other government agencies. It will also be responsible for cross-checking new photographs with database records to detect fraud using biometric software.

Software will monitor all components of the smartcard system to assist fraud investigations and trigger alerts if an individual is holding drivers licences under false names.

Some 10,000 handheld smartcard readers will be deployed across the state, which may include public terminals, homes, businesses, and pubs and clubs.

The Australian Law Reform Commission previously raised concerns that allowing external agencies to access smartcard data could create significant privacy risks because of the large amount of personal data stored on the cards.

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