Monday, 21 December 2015 13:37

IA says ready to help eliminate ‘digital divide’

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Internet Australia, the peak body representing Internet users, says it has offered to assist the Federal Government’s Digital Transformation Office in the interest of eliminating the country's ‘Digital Divide’.

IA CEO Laurie Patton offered the assistance, saying today that there was a so-called digital divide between those with access to the Internet and those who are yet to be connected.

IA met recently with the head of the DTO, Paul Shetler and Patton said the organisation came away “very impressed with Mr Shetler’s willingness to collaborate with us and other civil society groups.”

Patton noted that 2016 is the National Year of Digital Inclusion, and the need to ensure that everyone is able to benefit from the work of the DTO. “It is one thing to create online systems for dealing with government, but that will only work if people have access to the Internet and the skills to use it,” Patton said.

Patton said Internet Australia’s concerns were raised when a visiting expert from the UK recently highlighted the potential downside from moving government service provision online. “The message was that there have been both winners and losers there. It’s fine for people who have access to the Internet and are digitally savvy, but disadvantaged groups and individuals who are not connected can struggle to get access to essential government services”.

“We simply want to make sure that the community’s interests are taken into account and that this doesn’t just turn into a cost saving exercise for government departments,” Patton said.

Internet Australia is one of a number of organisations who are supporting the National Year of Digital Inclusion, an initiative of Infoxchange with the financial backing of Australia Post.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - an iTWire treasure is a mentor and coach who volunteers also a writer and much valued founding partner of iTWire. He is a 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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