6 May 2021

ADIA Calls for Government Action on Digital Inclusion

The Australian Digital Inclusion Alliance (ADIA) today welcomes the Digital Economy Strategy announced by the Government, but is disappointed it does not include digital inclusion as a cornerstone.

The ADIA applauds the inclusion of connectivity initiatives and digital skills training in the strategy, and looks forward to learning more about these programs. However, the strategy announced today focuses on advanced digital skills and emerging technologies, without addressing the needs of Australians lacking basic digital skills. In order to make Australia a leading digital economy, we must ensure all Australians are able to participate in that economy. Without laying the foundations to increase digital inclusion, the strategy is hindered from day one.

The ADIA released a position paper last year outlining in detail what needs to be done to address digital inclusion in Australia. The ADIA is once again calling on the Government to:

  • Create a whole-of-government approach to digital inclusion so businesses, nonprofits and government can work towards the same goal.
  • Build a Digital Capabilities Framework that provides a common understanding and goal for what it means to be a digitally capable individual.
  • Take action to ensure permanent internet affordability measures.
  • Ensure all federal, state and local government websites are compliant with the latest accessibility standards.

The Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII) shows a large number of Australians are digitally excluded, especially seniors, those in low-income households, rural and remote Australians, people with a disability, and First Nations People. In a time when services – both public and private – are moving online, Australians must be digitally included to participate in the modern economy.

The ADIA acknowledges this strategy is a living document, and we are committed to working with the Government on initiatives to increase digital inclusion, so all Australians can participate in our rapidly-digitising society.