The state awards for the eighth annual GovHack competition saw environmental sustainability, business optimisation, transport and city planning as the most popular topics explored.

Held across Australia and New Zealand, GovHack saw participants using open data to create products and data application ideas for state and national award categories, with categories differing state by state.

Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales shone as the states with the highest number of entries for the state awards, at 79, 74 and 63 entries respectively, with 364 Australian entries in total.

GovHack Director Richard Tubb said this competition was a fantastic opportunity to see what could be done using open data.

“GovHack gives people a chance to play with open data in a friendly and timely environment,” he said.

Many of the state award categories saw entrants using open data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, local councils and their state government to form their product.

Some of the outstanding winners for each state were:


  • Litterly-Awesome: an app utilising crowd-sourcing to reduce litter by gathering data on types of litter items, their location and their brand to collate trends and patterns of littering habits.
  • Managing Potential Traffic Danger Zones in a Growing City: a tool for planning and responding to city growth.

New South Wales

  • Bushtag: a data mash-up and interactive map providing the government, businesses and NGOs with easily accessible information about the location of biodiversity to influence their planning decisions and ecological responses to natural disasters.
  • BEST: a visualisation tool showing changes in traffic speed through key areas of Sydney.


  • a web app helping SME owners make smarter business decisions by providing relevant location-based market insights, such as demographics, geographic information, competitors and potential customers.
  • Freedom Fighter: a web app allowing users to plan their journey and weigh options of transport, taking into consideration distance, time, traffic, events that could impact travel time, cost of fuel and car maintenance, and environmental impact.

Northern Territory

  • Mobilize: an app encouraging people to report fires more often, and to streamline and coordinate communication between professional staff, various stakeholders and volunteers.
  • NT Bush Travel Companion: a data source with collated key authoritative information about remote communities including meta, mp3 translations, GPS co-ordinates, lot data and essential service provider links.
  • Red House, Blue House…: an app providing maps with the colour, lot number and identifying landmarks of each house in East Arnhem Land, given that remote Aboriginal communities do not usually have street names and numbers.


  • CIAN Council Search: a mobile-friendly website with collated information on the location of parks, toilets and other facilities.

Western Australia

  • a product to increase knowledge transfer between organisations to encourage innovators to collaborate through incentives.
  • Space Shepherd: satellite remote sensing of sheep distributions in 2020 and 2030. The product that monitors and predicts the distributions of sheep in Australia, particularly WA, using satellite remote sensing data and machine-learning method.

Judging for the Australian Capital Territory and South Australia is still under way and will be announced alongside winners of the national awards in Brisbane on 14 October at the GovHack awards night.

The competition was held across 27 locations in Australia, and in eight across New Zealand.