Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Digital Economy for Australia

The Premier of Tasmania released a "A Vision for an Innovative, Sustainable and Prosperous Tasmania" (25 August 2010). This targets five economic sectors: agriculture, renewable energy, digital economy, lifestyle and tourism. It is good to see the Tasmanian government have acted in accordance with some of the suggestions I made on my last visit in a talk entitled "Green Broadband Jobs". On a previous visit asked by a former premier of Tasmania what to do, I suggested selling salmon on the Internet and I see that this features in the policy. ;-)

In addition to the media release "A Vision for an Innovative, Sustainable and Prosperous Tasmania" there is a 19 page "Tasmania’s Innovation Strategy (4.9Mbyte PDF).

The five economic sectors targeted are:
  1. high-value agriculture, aquaculture and food
  2. renewable energy
  3. the digital economy
  4. a vibrant, creative and innovative Tasmania built on its lifestyle advantages, and
  5. further growing our tourism advantage.
In the digital arena, the government sees innovation
transforming businesses and communities. With the
roll-out of the NBN, the digital economy will create new opportunities for existing businesses as well as stimulating the growth of new enterprises. The NBN allows Tasmania to overcome the tyranny of distance.
Unfortunately the policy release has been marred by poor use of the Internet. The media release failed to load with the Tasmanian Government web server reporting
"The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later.".
The detailed policy document is a large PDF file which is difficult to download and difficult to read. The report is poorly formatted making it difficult to make use of the document.

The Tasmanian Government should instead provide an easy to read set of web pages (if needed the PDF file can be provided as an option). This failure to use the Internet effectively is particularly serious as this was the launch of a policy promoting the effective use of this technology in Tasmania. The Tasmanian government is not alone in failing to make effective use of the Internet, but given it sees this as a key area of the economy, they should take urgent steps to gain competence in this area. One way to do that would be to attend WCC2010 in Brisbane, starting 20 September 2010.

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