Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, will host an online retail forum in Sydney on February 18.
According to a statement released by the Government, the event is designed to encourage retailers to explore doing business online.
“Providing an online information and sales channel is clearly an important part of any discussion about the future of Australian retail,” Conroy said in a statement. “Shopping online can also deliver benefits to consumers in the form of greater customer satisfaction, better product information and, in some instances, lower prices.”
Minister for Small Business, Senator Nick Sherry, will also deliver a keynote speech at the end of the event.
Other speakers at the event include eBay, PayPal, Shoes of Prey, Gray’s Online, Australia Post, Temando, DHL, Google and representatives of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Topics to be discussed include logistics as well as the searching and purchasing trends of online consumers.
The Government’s move comes after a significant stoush between major retailers and the Government over the lack of GST on imports worth over $1000 when bought online.
A coalition of companies led by Harvey Norman chairman, Gerry Harvey, claimed thousands of Australian retail jobs would be lost overseas unless goods purchased online were subject to the same tax conditions as offline purchases.
But the Government and a leading retail group, the Australian Retailers Association, have said no move should be made until a review by the Productivity Commission is completed.
The event will take place from 9:30am to 2pm in the Barnett Room of the Westin Hotel in Martin Place, Sydney. Morning tea and lunch will be served. For more information, visit the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.