Media Release - 26 October 2022

The Australian Digital Inclusion Alliance welcomes the Albanese Government’s recognition of the
importance of supporting all Australians to be digitally included. Affordable access to the internet,
combined with accessibility measures, and supporting Australians to be digitally capable of leaning
into technology, will together help narrow the gap between digital haves and have-nots.

Efforts to improve connectivity and affordability of internet access will help improve participation in
education, employment, health services, government services, and more. In particular, the targeted
affordability initiative, through which up to 30,000 families with no internet at home will be provided
a free NBN service for 12 months, will help support the ongoing digital inclusion needs of low-income
families with school-aged children.

We also welcome the Better Connectivity Plan for Regional and Rural Australia and the establishment
of a First Nations digital advisory group to provide advice to the Minister for Communications.
Working in partnership with First Nations people is critical.

Moves to provide school based digital literacy support in partnership with the Alannah and Madeline
Foundation will complement the array of programs in place. It is also pleasing to see that the
Government will develop and deliver a new national study on adult literacy, numeracy and digital
literacy skills, led by Jobs and Skills Australia.

“We welcome the digital inclusion initiatives announced in the Federal Budget. These are important
steps but there is still more to do. We know that 17% of the national population remains digitally
excluded, with a vast number lacking the foundational digital skills necessary to fully participate in
employment and society more broadly” said David Spriggs, CEO of Infoxchange and Chair of the
Australian Digital Inclusion Alliance (ADIA).

Australia is missing a common understanding around what it means to be digitally capable. At
present, ‘digital skills’ means different things to different people and in different sectors. There is a
need to create a common language around what it means to be digitally skilled, including at a
foundational level, through the establishment of a Digital Capability Framework. The ADIA
encourages the Government to lead the creation of a common understanding and set of objectives
that would better harness the currently fragmented efforts of those in the digital inclusion space.