Business Council releases digital economy recommendations


Saturday, 01 May, 2021


Business Council releases digital economy recommendations

Australia can fulfil its ambition to be a digital leader by 2030 if the right approach is adopted, according to new Business Council of Australia (BCA) analysis completed by EY.

The BCA’s digital economy and telecommunications working group has developed a digital reform agenda to foster economic recovery and ensure all Australians can benefit from digital technology.

The agenda focuses on technology uptake across the economy, removing outdated regulatory barriers, and boosting the digital capability of small businesses and workers.

According to the BCA, Australia could be better off by $210 billion over the next 20 years if we speed up our shift to a digital economy. “The analysis shows that better and more effective regulation could make Australians $119 billion better off over the next 20 years,” said Business Council President Tim Reed.

Below are BCA’s key recommendations:

  • Leading from the top by appointing a dedicated cabinet minister for the digital economy to oversee Australia’s digital transformation.
  • Reducing unnecessary regulation and red tape to support more businesses and customers to move to a cashless, paperless and virtual society including.
  • Lifting the nation’s digital skills by:
    • setting minimum digital literacy standards for school students; and
    • introducing digital micro-apprenticeships focused on short-term, flexible courses with work placements.
  • Driving digital investment by:
    •  tax incentives or grants worth up to $10,000 for small and medium businesses to invest in digital skills training, shift to e-invoicing and improve their cybersecurity; and
    •  including digital services in a 20% investment allowance for businesses of all sizes to encourage digital investment in areas such as using services based on the cloud.
       

“Focusing on these priorities will accelerate the adoption of digital technology, keep costs down, make Australia an easier place to do business and create new jobs,” said Reed.

We’ll need the best skilled workers in the world to take advantage of new jobs in new and developing industries, he added.

“By getting the skills system right for the 21st century, Australia could grow its economy by $47 billion over the next 20 years.

“Action should also include a 20% digital investment allowance that makes investing in new technology easier for businesses across the whole economy,” said Reed.

Research commissioned by Telstra had already shown that increased rates of digitisation would create 250,000 new jobs in just five years.

Telstra CEO and working group chair Andrew Penn said, “If we are bold and if we act now it will shape our economy, our society and our future for the benefit of all Australians.

“It is critical that as a nation we continue to build on this momentum to drive connectivity, productivity and efficiency and — importantly — create a new wave of much-needed employment.”

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Thomas Reimer

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