The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science has released a consultation paper as part of the Australian Government’s Digital Economy Strategy.  This strategy is focused on how governments, businesses and the community can adjust to seize the benefits of digital transformation.  The paper focuses on three themes:

  • ​enabling and supporting the digital economy;
  • building on Australia’s areas of competitive strength to drive productivity and raise digital business capability; and
  • empowering all Australians through digital skills and inclusion.

 

The Consultation Paper notes that there is growing demand for digital infrastructure for data collection, storage and transmission.  As part of this growing demand, Australia will have opportunities to build capability in emerging technologies such as 5G mobile phone technology, artificial intelligence and blockchain.  Traditional regulatory approaches in areas of privacy and security may no longer be appropriate. 

The Consultation Paper takes a position that the adoption and use of digital technologies can be a significant driver of economic growth.  The paper highlights that Australian businesses are not fast adopters of technology based on international standards, ranking in the middle of OECD economies. The consultation paper also acknowledges a digital divide exists, where those with low levels of income, education and employment are excluded from the digital economy.

Responses to the consultation paper will close on 30 November 2017.