Australia 2020 Kind Of Covers Tech, Kind Of Doesn’t

February 11, 2008

The website is up for the Prime Ministers 2020 conference (link). They’re taking applications, although if media reports are to be believed most of the positions will go to our self appointed elite, but ordinary folk might get a look in.

I didn’t expect the Government to have any focus on technology and ecommerce (the Government still doesn’t have an ICT policy) so I wasn’t disappointed.

However, there are a couple of streams where the internet gets a look in:

  • Towards a creative Australia: the future of the arts, film and design includes “How to encourage participation in emerging global industries such as game design, the internet 2.0, graphics-rich applications and animation”
    Emerging? WTF? Two of America’s five top listed companies are in tech (Microsoft and Google), games sell more than movies, how exactly is this emerging globally exactly?
  • Economic Infrastructure, the digital economy and the future of our cities includes “Ensure that digital technologies are harnessed to improve consumer services, business productivity and the delivery of government services.”
    read broadband at what Conroy is now saying should be min spec of 12mb/s, nearly third world levels given the rest of the world is rolling out 100mb/s

My natural inclination is to be negative on this, and yet there are at least two streams where people could talk tech, presuming we can actually get people up who understand Web 2.0. That in itself is a challenge, given the first stream will be stacked with actors, journalists and creative types, the second stream will hardly look at the internet given how screwed up we are after 11 years of the Howard Government being asleep at the infrastructure wheel.

I might apply. I wouldn’t bet on getting up, but you’ve got to be in it to win it. If anyone else is thinking of nominating let me know, happy to provide a reference or what ever else is needed in getting some friendly faces into the final makeup; ultimately what I care passionately about is that there’s a real voice or voices from the Web 2.0/ tech community at this event, at least trying to be heard. It’s all very well and good to snipe from the sidelines, but at least if one of us was there, we could put our case forward.

Any thoughts, let me know in the comments. To quote the new JFK, Barak Obama, YES WE CAN. 🙂

4 responses to Australia 2020 Kind Of Covers Tech, Kind Of Doesn’t

  1. If you get in the first idea you should propose is a tax break for web startups that target the global market, similar to the one they had for film years back. Australia is making all of this money in the mining industry and the only thing we are investing in is property, more mining companies and banks.

  2. IMHO we need to offer a better environment for the intermingling creative/content/software industries, with targeted tax breaks (as suggested), R&D and incubation support for these ‘softer’ industries, as opposed to just the hard sciences, etc.

    We have a talented pool of tech/creative types, but we need to ensure they aren’t all snapped up in Australia arms of multi-nationals (although a spin-off effect means they’re often incubators as well, at least optimistically.)

    It’s tempting to think that govt. should favour Oz vendors as much as possible, and encourage use of OSS (it’s happening) inc. govt. contribution (e.g. localisation) if not in development, then in openly available support info maybe.

    Perhaps Unis could be encouraged, by various means, to further use and develop OSS (in addition to commercial opportunities) perhaps in collaboration with govt. (via Ed Depts, CSIRO etc.), to increase the base of tech-savvy developers and potential entrepreneurs.

    Obviously govt. needs to be more ‘creative’ with our tech infrastructure issues (the hardest nut!), and avoid situations like the data-casting restrictions, or uneven marketplace.

    Finally ABC/SBS/AFC see further funding to increase the accessibility (and quality) of Australian content in the new mediums. …of course the only way to encourage the audience/users to ‘use’ local content and apps is via quality/value, but even that’s no guarantee… how do we pull users away from YouTube, Google, MS/Yahoo etc…?

    That’s a tough one, and some of it runs pretty deeply (we’ve always tended to look elsewhere for ‘the best’.)

    Ultimately we need to raise the profile, and dare I say it, ‘sexiness’ of local technology and become a place that’s proud of our home-grown technology and innovation.

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