Australia doubles down on digital economy with $252.5 million investment

The government is spending more money to transform the country into a modern and leading digital economy by 2030

The Australian government is investing an extra $252.5 million (£135.9 million) in further initiatives under its Digital Economy Strategy, to achieve the goal of Australia being a leading digital economy and society by 2030.

The nation’s Treasury released its mid-year economic and fiscal outlook last week which underlines the government will spend the additional money over four years to bolster its digital economy strategy. It spent $1.2 billion in May to transform the country into a modern and leading digital economy by 2030.

Now, $160.9 million will be invested in a Digital Identity System to improve online access to government services and payments. The government will also provide $27.1 million to the Office of the National Data Commissioner to improve sharing and promote greater use of public sector data while a further $22.6 million has been given to the second round of the Australian 5G Innovation Initiative. 

The government also aims to consult with industry and the education and training sectors on ways to meet Australia’s digital skills needs and provide $2.8 million to scope enhancements to the data.gov.au website to improve public access to government data.

It will also create a fit-for-purpose regulatory framework for the evolving payments and crypto-ecosystems to promote competition, provide certainty for businesses looking to invest, and ensure appropriate protections for consumers. This will see the Treasurer take on an enhanced leadership role in this sector.

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Australia will also implement recommendations from the Inquiry into Future Directions for the Consumer Data Right (CDR), which will deliver significant reforms to deepen the functionality of the CDR to enhance consumer experience, grow the CDR ecosystem through new innovative products, and promote greater international engagement.

As part of this investment, the government is also including the previously announced $111 million investment in quantum technology. Originally announced in November, the money has been allocated to support the commercialisation, adoption, and use of technology to create jobs in this sector. This includes $70 million for a Quantum Commercialisation Hub to foster strategic partnerships with other countries to commercialise Australia’s quantum research and help businesses access new markets and investors.

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