Thursday, 13 May 2021
Questions without Notice
Economy: Digital Economy Strategy
I'd like to thank Senator Bragg for his question and his enduring interest in Australia's digital economy and progress. Digital technologies play such an important role in our daily lives, but perhaps no more so than in the last 18 months. They have helped businesses to stay afloat and people to interact and transact in new and different ways, and they've also enabled people to get access to life-saving information and services. The Morrison government knows that getting the policy settings right, now, will ensure that Australia's prosperity continues over the next decade and beyond.
That's why I was incredibly proud to stand with the Prime Minister last week and announce the $1.2 billion Digital Economy Strategy. This strategy is a living plan, designed to ensure that we have the right infrastructure, skills, settings and services in place. It outlines our digital growth priorities that will make it clear what we need to do to achieve that ambition. They include things like lifting our digital capability and adoption across small and medium businesses to support new ways to work and grow, increase profitability and, of course, save time—for example, through a $15.3 million enhancement to the uptake of e-invoicing, to save time and money for businesses—and supporting globally-competitive export sectors operating at the digital frontier, including manufacturing, mining, agriculture and construction, and, of course, building the emerging technology capability and accelerating the growth of tech startups such as fintechs, regtechs and digital games, to drive an uplift in the rest of the economy.
This broad package has been received extraordinarily well. FinTech Australia CEO Rebecca Schot-Guppy said the announcement was welcome news for the entire technology and startup ecosystem. The BCA said that the Digital Economy Strategy was a win-win, and the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association said that the games tax offset, a key part of that strategy, was one of the most significant to be implemented anywhere in the world.