Establishment of Labor Digital Economy Group #nbn #auspol

Last night I spoke in Parliament about the growth of the digital economy in Australia, with a special focus on my own region: Western Sydney.

I also talked about the establishment of our new Labor Digital Economy Group.

A copy of my speech can be found here.

The foundation stone of my contribution last night was the powerful impact of the internet on our economy.  Some of the stats are staggering.

For example IBM’s recently released report “A Snapshot of Australia’s Digital Future to 2050"  indicated that ICT, enhanced by emerging high-speed broadband and online information, is expected to deliver a phenomenal $131 billion in Australia – this year.

In that report, IBM’s Australia/NZ Managing Director Andrew Stevens said:

“…businesses and government must decide how best to leverage our increasingly ubiquitous digital infrastructure, and how to help Australia shift from a natural resources-dependent economy to a more diverse ‘developed resources’-oriented economy.”

Last year, the Federal Government released the #au National Digital Economy Strategy, which aims to see Australia placed among the world’s leading digital economies.  Download your copy here.

Right now, our digital economy has two powerful advantages working in its favour: our investment in the NBN and our strong economy.

We need to think ahead: determining how to extract the maximum benefit from the NBN, for communities, businesses and our economy.

This is why the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party set up a Labor Digitial Economy Group yesterday.  It’s attracted great support of Members and Senators keen to see us prepare Australia for a post-NBN environment.

That is, as the NBN is built how do we then lever off this development to drive our digital economy’s growth? 

The Labor Digital Economy Group will help further champion the ICT sector within the Federal Government.  It will aim to provide a focus on initiatives to advance the interests of the sector within policy-making circles.

For example, in working with the sector, the Labor Digital Economy Group will also help with issues, like ICT skills shortages; that need to be addressed now if we want to ensure that we get the full benefit from our investment in superfast broadband.

Full membership details of the Labor Digital Economy Group to be released by the end of the week.

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Ed Husic MP
Federal Labor Member for Chifley

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