ACS president Yohan Ramasundara said, “While there has been an improvement in terms of a funding allocation for building digital skills, the reality is that we need to do more.
“Further investment in training, development and small business digital literacy will go a long way to securing a strong digital economy from which all Australians will benefit.”
Ramasundara said the society welcomed the Government’s $1.9 billion boost to Australia’s research capability and the investment of $2.4 billion over 12 years to boost Australia’s science and technology capacity, including “positive investments in artificial intelligence, digital identity, satellite technology, supercomputers and a national space agency”.
“Aussie founders in San Francisco, who have their engineering teams here in Australia, have regularly shared with us how important the R&D Tax Incentive is to maintaining that presence in Australia.
“We also understand the government needs to reduce debt and live within its means. The changes to the R&D Tax Incentive will focus the support where it is needed the most, for small to medium enterprises who we all want to see become large enterprises.”
Ramasundara praised the change to corporate taxation announced in the Budget.
“At times, the corporate tax rate conversation seems to have lost sight of how important competitive tax rates are for attracting new investment to Australia. Technology multinationals create new jobs for our economy, as well as transferring skills and knowledge across the nation. Creating an environment that encourages more R&D in technology here in Australia will provide a multiplier effect,” Ramasundara said.
The ACS has also welcomed the additional focus on women in STEM that will also help equip the technology sector with the skills it needs to drive further economic growth in coming years, and the $190 million the federal government is allocating to help mature age workers reskill.
“We have long advocated that there are three key pillars to a modern digital and knowledge economy, one which is higher up the value chain, affords higher paying jobs, and delivers trust. These pillars are a strong banking and finance sector, a strong cyber security capability, and an ability to deliver high level STEM skills in the education system,” Ramasundara said.