[LINK] Press Release from Senator Lundy
Fri, 25 Feb 2000 17:47:43 +1100
Grant Bayley wrote:
> What was wrong with just pasting it into an email?
> I think the file name "They just don't get IT" sums up my feelings about
> people who send Microsoft Word attachments for things when a text version
> would have done the same job. I'm using an SGI Indy without Microsoft
> Word as my primary desktop machine and my secondary desktop machine right
> now is an OpenBSD machine.
> This document is useless to me.
Very good point re: Word docs. This one in particular
did not require any fancy word processing ... why
Ms Stutsel couldn't save it as text and paste it into
the press release is beyond me. Or better yet, write it
up in Notepade (TM). Learn from this, Melanie!
Heaps of people CANNOT read word docs!
Thank god for Linux (or Unix, for that matter).
> strings yuckfile.doc >yucky.html
> lynx -dump yucky.html >yucky.txt
and voila (after a minute spent reformatting a bit):
Senator Kate Lundy
Shadow Minister for Sport, Youth Affairs, and
assisting on IT Senator for the ACT
Alston just doesn't get IT!
"One of the most significant Government policy failures is that Australia
has high levels of unemployment whilst, at the same time, there
continues to be concerning levels of skill shortages in the area of
IT&T," Opposition IT spokeswoman Senator Kate Lundy said today.
The Government's announcement of up to $5m to help establish an
Information Technology and Telecommunication (IT&T) skills institute
is yet another example of its belated piecemeal approach in addressing
the IT skills shortage and other IT policies.
"With the current loss of skilled workers overseas, estimated to be
1000 a month in the IT&T sector, it is clear that a strategic education
and industry policy that offers genuine support to new technology industries is a
necessary priority for any government. But all Senator Alston can do
is put band-aids on this brain drain, Senator Lundy said.
In fact, a recent report from the Department of Industry, Science and Resources,
titled Shaping Australia's Future, Innovation - Framework Paper
identified a declining trend in business investment in research and
development since 1996, the year the Howard Government first took
office. "Senator Alston's piecemeal approach to IT fails to recognise
that there is an urgent need for focused and comprehensive policies,"
Senator Lundy said.
Rather than providing ad hoc funding to
ineffective programs, the Government's actions would be better spent
addressing the major policy failures they have created in the area of
IT. To date, Senator Alston's policy failures have included: The
extension of an IT outsourcing regime in government departments which
has seen both a stagnation in the level and quality of departmental IT
services, as well as the marginalisation of Australian companies
seeking to grow and develop their export capability.
This is evidenced in The IT Engine Room - SMEs in Australia s IT&T Industry,
a report jointly sponsored by the Department of Communications, Information
Technology and the Arts and the Australian Information Industry
Association. This report found that, along with other negative impacts
that the Government has generated for SME's in the IT&T industry, the
Federal Government s IT outsourcing program is perceived as being
inconsistent with the interests of IT&T SMEs (see page 16 of the
The announcement yesterday of the six man BITS Incubator
Program Advisory Board, as a missed opportunity for the Government to
profile women in IT. This is especially disturbing given the rhetoric
which accompanied Women Online Week (WOW) last year, and provides
further proof that the Minister's hosting of WOW was nothing more than
a cheap PR stunt. The continuing perception of Australia as a global
village idiot, following the enactment of the Broadcasting Services
Amendment (Online services) Act 1999.
Despite the best efforts of the IT industry to build a manageable regime,
the Act continues to fuel fears that the Government is legislating in areas
of little or even
detrimental effect on Australia's capacity to promote itself as an IT
savvy nation. The Government's tardiness in legislating on Internet
based privacy, undermining both consumer and citizen confidence in the
Internet, as well as reducing the rate of e-commerce uptake in
business to consumer relationships.
The Government's own Commonwealth Departments falling dismally behind
in getting services online.
Senator Alston's continues to be a vocal exponent of the virtues of
the Internet and yet the Coalition's own departments are failing
dismally to lead by example. This can be evidenced in an ANAO report
entitled Electronic service delivery, including Internet use, by
Commonwealth government agencies, which states that only 2% of
agencies would be at the final stage by 2001, with a view to providing
a whole-of-government integrated service. The failings of the
Commonwealth Departments in this regard is linked to structural flaws
in the Government's IT outsourcing program which means that
departments and agencies are losing strategic control of info
management in the information economy.
"With the US in an economic boom spurred by technologically driven efficiency,
full access to the Internet, as well as the skills and confidence to
utilise these technologies to our national advantage," Senator Lundy
said. "The 5% productivity increase in the US in the second half of
1999 is the largest gain since 1992, and according to experts, is just
the beginning of the productivity gains that will be achieved as the
Internet matures and revolutionises business.
"The Government has shown itself to be negligent and incapable of
understanding the full value of the net and what it means to Australian
society. They will only ever be playing catchup," Senator Lundy concluded.
25 February 2000 10/00
Contact: Melanie Stutsel (02) 6277 3334; 0417 002 317
Rick Welykochy || Praxis Services Pty Limited