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Government outlines agenda for Australia’s tech future

01 Jan 2019

The Government has released its IT strategy that it says will “help develop the nation’s digital skills, outline how businesses can save time and money and deliver better services for consumers, ensuring every Australian can share in the benefits of technology.”

The report, ‘Australia’s Tech Future’, details how the Government is asking Australians to “work together to deliver a strong, safe and inclusive economy, boosted by digital technology.”

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews adds that 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.

“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,” Andrews says.

The report examines 150 existing programmes, policies and strategies that contribute to achieving our 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,” she adds.

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

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

“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.”

Sectors that are particularly likely to benefit 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 cybersecurity, to ensure that Australia can not only meet its own security needs but can become a leading exporter of cybersecurity services,” Andrews says.

‘Australia’s Tech Future, Delivering a Strong, Safe and Inclusive Digital Economy’ was developed with help from businesses, industry groups, the research sector, states and territories and members of the community.

The Government says it 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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