Australian ICT sector association, the Australian Computer Society (ACS), has called on the major political parties to address five key issues that it claims are holding the Australian economy back.
It highlighted, in a statement, that the government needs to further focus on issues surrounding support for ICT skills, improved digital literacy, quality advice to government, open data, and better data on the digital economy.
These five issues were identified by the ACS in consultation with more than 20,000 Australian ICT professionals, ICT industry leaders, national education and training providers, key users of ICT, and through its own annual statistical research.
ACS president, Dr Nick Tate, said, in a market where more than 550,000 Australians work in ICT and the digital economy contributes more to gross domestic product (GDP) than mining, it is time to focus on how to best use digital infrastructure.
"For too long, Australia has believed the myth that mining and agriculture are the only paths that can continue to grow our economy.
"Like our regional partners, we need to recognise that the digital economy has become the key component of the economy, and we need Government to support this vital growth area," he mentioned.
Dr Tate claimed that if these five key issues are not addressed as priorities, there is a real danger that the digital economy will suffer, and the health of the broader Australian economy with it.
"An incoming government needs to address the five issues the ACS has raised to help the Australian economy remain internationally competitive and grow in a sustainable manner."
He said as the impact of technology on work and lives continues to increase, the Governments should place a higher priority on digital literacy and, in particular, growing the national pool of skilled ICT professionals.
"The ICT professional workforce is now being recognised globally as the key ingredient to sustaining a prosperous, modern economy," he said.