AIIA happy with new government

Wednesday, 08 September, 2010

AIIA happy with new government

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) has welcomed the announcement of the new Australian Government.

“We are pleased to support the endorsement of the new Federal Labor Government following an election campaign that focused clearly on the rationale for high-speed, universal broadband in Australia,” said AIIA CEO Ian Birks.

“Given the high level of significance of the broadband issue, and in particular its resonance with the Independents, we now expect to see the rollout of the NBN prioritised in this government’s term,” said Birks.

“Both Independents identified broadband as a major factor in their decision; we welcome this recognition for the importance of technology infrastructure to the future of the Australian economy, and particularly the emphasis on the need for consistent levels of access at a national level. Australia is now acknowledged as an international leader in the global digital economy for adopting this approach.”

However, AIIA notes that “the social and economic gains associated with a genuine digital economy will depend on further activity well beyond the rollout of high-speed broadband infrastructure and we call on the new Federal Labor Government to acknowledge and prioritise these issues. The digital economy must now become a significant economic, social and environmental issue for the new Gillard Government.”

In a related development, AIIA’s Board of Directors have announced the repositioning of AIIA as the peak industry association for the ICT sector by committing it to becoming ’the voice of the digital economy’.

AIIA is developing new strategies that will provide a collective voice for members with government, media and the public to promote a genuine digital economy in which all Australians benefit from the productivity growth, economic diversity and community development offered by modern technology innovation.

“AIIA is now calling for a digital economy implementation summit to be held with major industry representatives within the first 90 days of the new Federal Government, and we believe this is essential to informing the value that will result from current and future infrastructure commitments.”

A number of industry groups have already endorsed this approach.

“We must put in place new policy, incentive and investment levers to drive much higher levels of innovation through the adoption of technology by all businesses, large and small, if we are to realise the real benefits on offer,” said Birks.

“To deliver these benefits, both a broad community and business awareness campaign promoting the value of digital economy applications and services must be established, but more significantly, a significant policy investment must be made in order to realise a return on the investment being made in infrastructure,”  Birks said.

“The continuity provided by an ongoing Labor Government will deliver stability to the technology industry and its role in the future of a digital economy in Australia. The lively nature of debate in the lower house as a result of the close contest in this election will yield carefully debated policy that we believe will greatly benefit the Australian public. We look forward to working closely with both the government and the opposition in these areas.”

AIIA released a 12-point Election Manifesto aimed at securing Australia’s future by positioning it as a leader in the global digital economy prior to the Federal Election and will continue to pursue these points with the new government.

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