Qld Govt boasts $200m digital economy investment

The Queensland Government has allocated $200 million over the next three years to grow the state’s digital economy as part of its latest digital economy strategy.

Our Thriving Digital Future: Queensland’s Digital Economy Strategy and the three-year Our Thriving Digital Future: 2023-26 Action Plan will aim to accelerate the state’s digital economy, emphasising the development of digital infrastructure and cybersecurity capability.

The plans include state-wide digital inclusion and cybersecurity strategy, as well as a First Nations digital strategic plan.

Digital inclusion features prominently in the new strategies, with the Government seeking to improve Queenslanders’ access, affordability and ability to “enjoy social benefits of a digitally enabled economy”.

The Government has also promised to improve regional connectivity, notably in education, healthcare, employment and access to goods and services, increasing the reliability of digital infrastructure.

At the same time, the new strategy will aid existing and emerging businesses in accessing digital technologies and ensure a pipeline of talent for digital careers.

According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), digital activity accounts for 5.9 per cent of the state’s total economic value ($109 billion) added in 2019 and  2020. It is predicted that around 70 per cent of new value created in the global economy over the next decade will be based on digitally enabled platform business models.

The state’s latest digital economy strategy will also prioritise how the government operates, manages its data and invests in digital technology.

Queensland’s Digital Economy Minister, Leeanne Enoch, said the pandemic period lockdowns reminded many of the importance of digital technology and the digital economy in everyday lives.

“During the pandemic, digital technology and the digital economy enabled working from home, online shopping and internet banking and supported virtual healthcare and contact with our family and friends when we couldn’t meet face-to-face,” the Minister said.

Data from the ABS showed that, as of August 2021, 40 per cent of employed Queenslanders were still working from home.

“The strategy will improve access to digital technology and power everything from commercial opportunities to social connection, education, employment and accessing healthcare,” the Minister said.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for Queenslanders and businesses to interact with our government. This includes improvements to government services and streamlining priority life events.”