Australian PM announces digital economic strategy

CANBERRA, May 6 — Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday announced a funding injection to transform the country into a leading digital economy by 2030.
Morrison outlined a 1.2 billion-Australian dollar (926.5 million U.S. dollars) plan to accelerate the uptake of digital technologies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Digital Economy Strategy includes 501.9 million Australian dollars (387.5 million U.S. dollars) to enhance the government’s digital MyGov and My Health Record systems and more than 100 million Australian dollars (77.2 million U.S. dollars) in funding to improve workers’ digital skills.
A further 124 million Australian dollars (95.7 million U.S. dollars) will be spent improving Australia’s artificial intelligence (AI) capability, with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) to establish and lead a national AI center.
“Every business in Australia is now a digital business,” Morrison told reporters, adding “this transformation is not merely a national one that needs to happen – it’s a global one that is happening.”
“We must keep our foot on the digital accelerator to secure our economic recovery from COVID-19.”
The package, which is part of the federal budget for 2021/22, takes the government’s digital economy investment to 2 billion Australian dollars (1.54 billion U.S. dollars).
“Greater digital adoption will improve our competitiveness and lift our productivity – driving job creation and higher wages,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said. (Xinhua)