Industry applauds Govt initiatives

Industry applauds Govt initiatives

Industry response to the Government's innovation statement has been overwhelmingly positive, with many seeing it as a major turning point in the importance awarded to high tech industries.

Australian Computer Society (ACS) president John Ridge described the Government's plans to increase spending on IT initiatives by $2.9 billion as "recognition of the need for the cultural change".

"The Government's statement is the first time we have had serious recognition of the importance of the IT sector for the whole economy," Ridge said. "The Government is showing a serious commitment to the IT sector, it is hard to be critical of such a landmark statement."

Ridge believes that the Federal Government's initiatives will provide an all important impetus for the industry to continue to take advantage of R&D opportunities.

Similarly Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) executive director Rob Durie said the policy initiatives announced by the Government would result in significant growth in the industry.

Durie was especially impressed by the commercial initiatives, such as the R&D tax concessions and the focus on assisted commercialisation of technology. However, he warns there is still a long way to go before the Government manages to resolve the skills shortage.

"The announcements are a good start but the issue will not simply go away," Durie said. "We are talking about a shortage in the vicinity of 30,000 people right now, and the Government's response is to create 2000 new university places every year for the next three years."

Despite the big spend, Durie believes more could be done in the areas of employee share options, corporate tax concessions and broadband availability.

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