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Monday, 18 May 2015 14:02

Internet Society applauds moves to digitally enabled economy


You’d think Australia already has a digitally enabled economy, but the Internet Society is nevertheless applauding Government and Opposition moves to foster more of it.

Budgets come and budgets go, and with it, funding. The 2015 budget is no different, with the Office of Digital Transformation getting an allocation of cash to do its thing, with the Internet Society pleased to see it.

The Society says this cash infusion is ‘an important recognition of the need to embrace digital technologies in improving productivity. It shows the way forward for other governments and for businesses. Innovation is the answer to how we create 21st Century jobs, both for young people entering the workforce and mature aged workers being displaced as our marketplace restructures.’

I’d have personally imagined that businesses and governments would see the benefits of digital transformation without the need for yet more government bodies or departments, but hey, that’s not how governments work. More institutions are always needed, the solution to everything is a new government body or department.

That said, let us hope they actually manage to transform us digital for the better, rather than ensuring we all get a barcode tattooed to the backs of our necks or the mark of the beast subcutaneously implanted into our foreheads.

So, while the Internet Society is applauding the Australian Government’s move to give funding to the Office of Digital Transformation, the Internet Society is making sure it is giving the Labor Opposition a pat on the back, too.

Labor says it has a ‘commitment to improving science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills.’ and because it says it has an ‘intention to establish a $500 million smart investment fund to back Australian innovations with start-up capital’, the Internet Society says this ‘will also provide a much needed boost to innovation.’

Of course, Labor needs to get into power first, and then it needs to actually uphold this commitment as a core and not a non-core promise, but as with all things political, we live in hope until we give up and get distracted by the promises of future budgets and election campaigns.

In any case, the Internet Society in Australia and its CEO, Laurie Patton, think this is all fantastic stuff, with Patton happily stating that: “As the peak organisation representing everyone who uses the Internet we are keen to encourage governments, federal and state, to embrace the Internet as the engine that will drive our economic prosperity by enabling us to create new industries, new products and services, and above all new employment options".

Forever and ever, Amen.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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