IT report sends strong message

IT report sends strong message

The Information Industries Task Force's report, The Global Information Economy: The Way Ahead, released last week has drawn cautious praise from industry bodies, mindful that the report is meaningless if the recommendations aren't taken further.

Dubbed the "Goldsworthy report" after Task Force head Professor Ashley Goldsworthy, it recommends the Government appoints a minister at Cabinet level for information industries, along with the establishment of a council for information industries.

Also recommended is that an "information economy" development fund be set up, along with tax concessions for research and development, greater funding of IT programs, and a globally competitive tax structure.

The report chastised the Government and business sectors for the lack of electronic commerce initiatives, recommending the Government increase e-commerce penetration by establishing a group led by the Department of Industry, Science and Tourism.

Commenting on the report, Jonar Nader, technology manager for the Australian Information Technology Society, said it contained a wealth of good intentions.

"The AITS would like to see the government set some options and targets that can be achieved in the IT industry," said Nader.

"We now need action from the government and that action must come from the top down," he said.

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) also welcomed the report. The AIIA endorsed the report's call for a national strategy, with a focused leadership role being taken up by the Federal Government at senior Cabinet level.

"Only then can we act in a nationally focused way, to advance Australia's interests," said the AIIA in a prepared statement.

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