[LINK] Some Future Directions for the Australian Digital Economy

Tom Worthington Tom.Worthington at tomw.net.au
Sat Jan 17 19:13:08 AEDT 2009

The Australian Government has invited input for a Digital Economy 
Future Directions Paper 

It listed six consultation topics. Here are my recommendations for them:

1. Open Access to Public Sector Information:

The Australian Government should adopt the US Government's policy of 
open access to Public Sector Information (PSI). This can be 
implemented using the Australian Creative Commons licence 
<http://creativecommons.org/international/au/>. The Commonwealth 
Library Deposit and Free Issue Schemes (LDS) should be changed to 
encourage electronic distribution, with the paper option retained for 
the few items where this is not suitable 

    2. Digital confidence:

The Australian Government should continue to follow European practice 
with use of the OECD privacy principles 

    3. Developing Australia's knowledge and skills base:

The Australian and State governments should increase funding for 
Education Network Australia (edna) <http://www.edna.edu.au/> and the 
Australian Flexible Learning Framework 
<http://www.flexiblelearning.net.au> encourage further such joint 
state/federal initiatives. The distinction between secondary, 
vocational and the higher education sectors for funding of the 
development of e-learning content, tools and training should be 
removed. A condition of public funding for the development of tools 
and courses should be free open access. The federal government's 
Digital Education Revolution, should incorporate e-learning and 

    4. Ensuring Australia's regulatory framework enables the digital economy:

Australian should support international copyright principles and 
avoid making exceptions to support US publishing interests.  As 
Professor Geoff Walsham argues it is a "Non-Flat World" and Australia 
can benefit from being part of a wider culturally heterogeneous 

    5. Digital economy and the environment:

The Australian Government should adopt a realistic CO2 emissions 
target of 25% to 50% reduction by 2020, in accordance with the 
Garnaut Report <http://www.garnautreview.org.au/>. The Australian 
government should implement the recommendations of the Personal 
Computer and Monitors Energy Efficiency Strategy prepared for the 
Environment Department 
<http://www.tomw.net.au/technology/it/pcmees/pc-report-10.html>. The 
Australian Government should fund its senior ICT staff to undertake 
the ACS Green ICT course, or equivalent training in ICT energy 

    6. Measuring the digital economy and its Impacts:

The Australian Government should restore previously cut funding to 
the Australian Bureau of Statistics to allow the suspended ICT 
statistics to be again collected 

Also, while the consultation paper was good, the consultation process 
was poor: 

More in my blog at: 

Tom Worthington FACS HLM tom.worthington at tomw.net.au Ph: 0419 496150
Director, Tomw Communications Pty Ltd            ABN: 17 088 714 309
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617                      http://www.tomw.net.au/
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Australian National University  

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