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ACS Week In Review: 2 August 2013

Friday, 02 Aug 2013

The ACS is seeking feedback to the Australian Cloud Protocol discussion paper available here : http://acs.org.au/information-resources/public-policy/2013-australian-cloud-protocol

Submissions close on August 19.

On Tuesday morning, the ACS released our priorities for the upcoming federal election. These are the 5 issues that we believe are key to building and supporting the digital economy. We are working hard on behalf of our members and the broader technology workforce to increase digital literacy, develop skills and encourage education from an earlier age. If you would like to see the full release, simply head to https://www.acs.org.au/news-and-media/news-and-media-releases/2013/2013-election-five-ways-to-a-stronger-digital-economy

This week also saw the release of the “At What Cost?” report into pricing in the technology sector. The ACS was able to provide commentary on the 11 outcomes of the report, and welcomes the increased focus on getting technology into the hands of more Australians. With an election around the corner, the ACS is pleased to see a greater deal of attention being paid to the digital economy and how it can benefit all Australians.

Government must tackle 5 key issues holding us back

THE Australian Computer Society has called on the main political parties to address five key issues holding the Australian economy back.

These five issues have been identified by ACS in consultation with more than 20,000 Australian ICT professionals, ICT industry leaders, national education and training providers, key users of ICT, and through our own annual statistical research.

More than 550,000 Australians now work in ICT and the digital economy contributes more to GDP than mining. While the focus in recent years on improved digital infrastructure is welcome, it is time to focus more on how we best use that infrastructure.

The ACS believes that if these five key issues are not addressed as priorities, there is a real danger that the digital economy will suffer and the health of the broader economy with it.

ICT Ministerial Council proposed

The Australian Computer Society (ACS) has called for the creation of an ICT Ministerial Advisory Council to better inform the next federal government about the digital economy and how to tackle major industry challenges.

The formation of the council, which would also help coordinate state and federal ICT assistance programs, is one of five recommendations the ACS is advancing as part of its 2013 election agenda. The agenda also seeks to get both sides of politics to better recognise the role ICT plays in Australia’s wider economy.

According to the ACS, more than 550,000 Australians now work in ICT, while the digital economy contributes more to the country’s GDP than mining. However, a lack of government focus on how best to use Australia’s digital infrastructure risks the performance of both the digital and wider economies, the industry body claims.

Calls for inquiry into IT pricing findings to be adopted

The Australian Computer Society (ACS), and consumer groups ACCAN and CHOICE have urged the Federal Government to adopt the recommendations of its Inquiry into IT Pricing to help improve the accessibility of ICT to Australian businesses, educators, and those on low incomes or with a disability.

In a statement to ZDNet, an ACS spokesperson said adopting the report’s recommendations would help boost the productivity of the country's businesses, ICT professionals and research sectors.

"Australian ICT professionals should not be hindered in their access to technology simply based on where they live” the spokesperson said.

ACS asks Government to update ICT curriculum

The Australian Computer Society (ACS) is pushing for ICT skills to be placed on the political agenda in the lead up to this year’s federal election, with a strong focus on schools.

It has issued a manifesto to the major parties in the hope that whichever forms government will address some of the major challenges the ACS sees obstructing the development of Australia’s digital industry.

ACS President Nick Tate told iTnews the process of fixing the ICT skills shortage needed to begin well before students reached university.

For more information on ACS Statements in the Week in Review, please contact

Thomas Shanahan

ACS Communications Executive

0449 902 130