Wednesday, 19 December 2018 10:22

Government strategy sets out Australia’s ‘digital future’ Featured

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The Australian Government has unveiled a new strategy which it says is aimed at developing the country’s digital skills and ensuring the benefits of technology flow to all Australians.

Released on Wednesday, the strategy — Australia’s Tech Future — details how the government says Australians can work together to deliver a “strong, safe and inclusive economy, boosted by digital technology”.

Industry, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews says the strategy highlights the trillions of dollars in potential economic benefits as well as social opportunities that digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, the Internet of Things and quantum computing will bring to benefit all Australians including farmers, teachers, patients and small business owners.

“Embracing digital technologies will ensure Australia can continue our strong record of 27 years of uninterrupted economic growth, improve our quality of life and ensure benefit to all Australians,” she said.

Andrews says the report examines 150 existing programs, policies and strategies that contribute to achieving the vision, and details how Australia can lead and shape the global digital economy.

“We are already well on the way – Australian businesses are improving productivity by adopting and adapting new technologies, such as autonomous systems, robotics and remote sensors.

“As new industries are created, for all sorts of new products and services, both for the Australian market and for the increasingly accessible global market, the government will work to ensure the adoption of new technologies brings even more quality jobs for people of all qualifications, as well as improvements in quality of life, increased connectedness and consumer benefits. The Liberal National Government’s record on job creation speaks for itself – over 300,000 jobs have been created over the last 12 months, most of which are full-time.

“We need to maximise opportunities from digital technology across Australia and this report identifies key areas to focus on.

“First and foremost, the government is focusing on people – getting digital skills and infrastructure right allows us to connect people and places, and to improve productivity, sustainability and adopt new technologies.”

"The Liberal National Government is committed to providing Australians with access to government services that are simple, clear and fast. In this way, the report is complemented by the Digital Transformation Strategy."

Andrews says sectors that are particularly likely to benefit from digital development include agriculture, manufacturing, mining, services, tourism and small business.

“For the Australian community, this will also bring benefits to health, emergency services, education, transport and digital services.

“We are also making sure we have the right enabling environment by reviewing our regulatory systems and maintaining our cyber security, to ensure that Australia can not only meet its own security needs but can become a leading exporter of cyber security services.

“The government will continue to work with stakeholders to drive change and assess Australia’s digital performance, including being involved in developing research infrastructure, data science, Smart Cities plans and space-based technologies.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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