Australia’s leading internet industry body is urging an Abbott Government to end support for legacy industries in favour of sectors where Australia has a competitive advantage.
The Internet Industry Association has called on the new government give priority to industries in the digital economy to achieve its key objectives of strengthening the economy and creating more than 2 million jobs.
“If there is a single theme to the transformation of the Australian economy flowing from digitisation and the Internet, it is trade exposure across all industry sectors,” an Association spokesman said. “The new government must favour industries where Australia has a comparative advantage and/or can compete on a level playing field," he said.
“This means ending support for legacy industry sectors where Australia cannot compete effectively and focusing on developing the sectors of the economy that are critical to our economic future including information infrastructure, software, digital media and exportable services.”
The association also listed improving the performance of our secondary schools and science, technology, engineering and mathematics; and increasing the output of universities in these areas.
Further, it has called for the new government to not just deregulate but also to update necessary regulation to make the Australian economy more competitive.
“Existing regulatory settings across the economy are under pressure. Examples include the taxation system as it operates in relation to imported goods and services supplied online from offshore, the regulatory framework governing Australian media, our copyright laws, the regulation of gambling and the content classification system," he said.
"More than ever the rules imposed on Australian business can determine whether new more efficient business are allowed to grow and whether global business base themselves in Australia or choose to supply into Australia from overseas."
The association backed the government’s focus on delivering fast and affordable broadband and urged it to retain NBN Co’s structural separation with Telstra.
“As a matter of urgency the Coalition must reach a deal with Telstra over access to last mile copper in order to facilitate the option of building a high speed Fibre-to the-Node network, redefine the role of the NBN in the delivery of new network capacity that supports Australia’s economic growth; and expedite construction of network infrastructure using an optimal mix of cost effective technologies."