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Govt Pours Extra $1.2bn Into Digital Economy

The Federal Government has announced a $1.2 billion plan to boost Australia’s digital economy as the country emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Digital Economy Strategy, to be rolled out as part of this year’s Federal Budget, will include more than $100 million to support digital skills; $124.1 million in artificial intelligence initiatives; a $12.7 million expansion of the Digital Solutions – Australian Small Business Advisory Service plus $15.3 million to drive e-invoicing for businesses; and more than $50 million to enhance cyber security in government, data centres, and future telecommunications networks.

Announcing the policy, PM Scott Morrison said Australia needs to respond to the digital transformation across every sector, and that “every business in Australia” has become a digital business.

Scott Morrison.

“The tradesman or woman who seeks work through AirTasker. The landscaper who finds most of their new business through search engine placement and social media. The farmer who keeps track of their herd with electronic tags or drones. The local Thai restaurant that sells through UberEats, Menulog, Deliveroo, or any one of half a dozen different food apps. The gym where members book their classes through an app.

“This transformation is not merely a national one that needs to happen – it’s a global one that is happening. We must keep our foot on the digital accelerator to secure our economic recovery from COVID-19,” he said.

According to the Government, this plan will take the total spend on digital economy to around $2 billion over the 2020-21 and 2021-22 Budgets.

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