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Australians deserve better access to technology - Media Release

Tuesday, 17 Jun 2014

Sydney, June 17: Australia’s peak representative body for the ICT profession, the Australian Computer Society (ACS) has rejected claims by the Australian Information Industry Association that Australian’s are actually better off when forced to pay more for technology than their overseas counterparts.

“The idea that giving Australian’s greater and more equitable access to technology is somehow anti-competitive simply doesn’t hold water.” Said ACS CEO Alan Patterson.

“We appreciate that businesses are out there trying to make a profit, but that shouldn’t come at the expense of Australia’s digital future. If we continue to be gouged compared to our overseas counterparts, innovation will be hindered, digital literacy will fall and we will be left behind in the march to a digital future. This will impact businesses large and small and could conceivably cost jobs, as digitally skilled workers become harder to find.”

Patterson continued.

“Digital literacy needs to start at an earlier age. We need to see more computers in homes, especially with a greater focus on technology in primary and secondary education. Yet to buy a basic PC in Australia can cost well over 50% more than buying the same product in the US. Even with exchange rates and labour costs taken into account, there is still a significant gap.”

“With funding for ICT education not at the levels needed to build the kind of digitally skilled workforce Australia needs, we need to look at removing barriers to technology access, and the so called ‘Australia Tax’ is one of those barriers.”

The ACS is neutral, and doesn’t represent any vendor. We represent the ICT profession. However, it is not just in the interests of the ICT profession to ensure equitable access to technology. As the digital economy becomes the driving force behind the Australian economy, it is in our national interest to ensure that we have fair and equitable access to technology.”

Further information

Thomas Shanahan, Australian Computer Society, 0449 902 130