The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, has released an update to the national digital economy strategy, Advancing Australia as a Digital Economy , which lays out the next steps towards achieving an improved digital economy by 2020.
He was speaking at the Digital Productivity Conference in Brisbane.
“The Update to the National Digital Economy Strategy (NDES) sets Australia on the path to a secure economic future beyond the resources boom, underpinned by our investment in the National Broadband Network,” Conroy said.
The 2011 NDES set eight goals, while the update outlines 24 actions the Government will take to work towards the achievement of these goals.
Some of these actions include:
- A plan to have the vast majority of government services entirely online by the end of 2017, called Digital First
- A development program for school students, Digital Careers, to help increase the number of Australians with a career in ICT.
- Promoting the adoption of Cloud computing by government agencies and ensuring Australia is a trusted hub for data storage and processing.
- Reviewing the regulations around Employee Share Schemes and consulting on crowd-sourced equity funding to boost support for Australian tech start-ups.
- Expanding the digital enterprise and local government programs to support small businesses, not-for-profit organisations, and local governments to better engage with the digital economy.
Conroy said the actions support the Gillard Government ‘s plan to become a world-leading digital economy by 2020.
“It will not just happen by itself. That’s why the Gillard Government has a plan to make sure we get there,” he said.
Conroy also mentioned that the vision is underpinned by the Government’s investment in the National Broadband Network.
“The NBN will transform the delivery of services across education, health care, and aged care. But the Government must also play its part to support the community make the most of what the NBN will provide,” he added.
The Digital Careers program has been injected with more than $6 million in funding from the Australian Government and matching contributions will come from industry, universities and state governments.
The program responds to the worrying shortage of high school students choosing to study ICT-related courses in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
To complement the digital strategy, a new Australian Public Service Mobile Roadmap has also been released for government agencies to use mobile technology to provide more convenient public services.
The roadmap, which was released by Senator Conroy and special minister of state, Mark Dreyfus QC, comes on the back of increased popular use of mobile technology such as smartphones, tablets and 4G networks.
“Mobile technology has the potential to greatly simplify the way Australians use government services,” Conroy said.
Dreyfus said mobile services would increase productivity and transform service delivery.