Media Release - ADIA welcomes First Nations digital inclusion measures

The Australian Digital Inclusion Alliance (ADIA) welcomes the First Nations Digital Inclusion measures included in the Federal Budget, reflective of the recommendations made by the First Nations Digital Inclusion Advisory Group in their Initial Report.

The expanded funding for the Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII) of $6 million will improve national data collection on First Nations digital inclusion. ADIA Chair David Spriggs says:

It’s pleasing to see the expansion of ADII funding to support more robust data collection for First Nations communities; this is something that the ADIA has long called for, and is a positive step.”

The $40 million roll out of community Wi-Fi in remote communities is a welcome first step in improving affordable connectivity. We note the Advisory Group’s finding that the need to move into public locations to access the internet can be problematic for vulnerable members of the community. The Advisory Group is currently seeking perspectives on how the affordability aspect of First Nations digital inclusion can be addressed in the long term and we encourage engagement with their consultation.

The funding to establish a First Nations Digital Support Hub and a network of digital mentors will help improve digital ability among First Nations people. ADIA Chair David Spriggs says:

We know that digital inclusion is a multifaceted challenge impacting one in four Australians, and we will continue our advocacy for measures to support bridging the digital divide.”