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Towards 2030: Positioning Australia as a leading digital economy and society

Digital Technology Taskforce, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

To thrive in an increasingly online future, Australian businesses need to adopt and adapt digital technologies at a greater rate than ever before. Doing so can improve business productivity, ensure business continuity and provide opportunities to enter new markets or scale-up operations rapidly.

Digitalisation isn ’t just about big business, small businesses have much to gain by investing in digital tools to streamline back-end processes, increasing their online presence and transforming how goods and services are delivered. Highly digitally engaged businesses earn 60 per cent more revenue per employee and grow 28 per cent faster than businesses with poor digital engagement.

Moving more business towards the digital frontier is necessary for Australia ’s prosperity in a more competitive, connected and digitally enabled world. Global markets will open up to Australian business through our engagement on the development of international rules and standards for digital technologies, and through bilateral and multilateral agreements with like-minded nations.

Recognising the role that digital technology and data can play in boosting Australia ’s economy, Prime Minister Scott Morrison established the Digital Technology Taskforce in November 2019. This Taskforce has been asked to look at how Australia can ensure it is a leading digital economy and society by 2030. This includes considering how Government can promote productivity gains through the uptake of digital technology across the Australian economy and how to improve policy integration across government. Senator the Hon Jane Hume was appointed as Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and the Digital Economy in December 2020 to further ensure that digital policy is well-integrated and embedded across the government.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of digital technology for businesses and the Australian Government has accelerated reforms to enable greater adoption of digital technologies across the economy. In September 2020, the Prime Minister and Treasurer announced the JobMaker Digital Business Plan that is supporting Australia ’s economic recovery by boosting the digital capability of small businesses, removing out-dated regulatory barriers and driving the uptake of technology across the economy.

The Digital Business Plan invests $796.5 million into essential digital infrastructure and skills, fit for purpose regulatory frameworks, SME support and capability, and business digital engagement with government. This builds on the $4.5 billion investment in the NBN and the $1.67 billion in the Cyber Security Strategy 2020 in the 2020-21 Budget. It includes initiatives like the game-changing Consumer Data Right that revolutionises how consumers share their data to make it easier to compare and switch between business offerings.

The Government recognises there is still more work to do in achieving the goal of being a leading digital economy and society by 2030. Minister Hume is leading Australia ’s digital strategy which is the next step in the Government ’s plan to ensure Australian businesses, workers and consumers benefit from a strong digital economy.  This includes reviewing and revising our settings to ensure Australia can realise the economic benefits of technology while managing the risks to Australians from potential harms. This will mean looking at ways the Government ’s economic, social, security, and inclusivity objectives can be balanced and met both domestically and abroad.

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