$42 billion stimulus package doesn’t impress ACS

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$42 billion stimulus package doesn’t impress ACS

Overnight approval of the Federal government’s latest economic stimulus package has failed to win Australian Computer Society (ACS) support with the peak body accusing the government of “failing to recognise the potential of the ICT industry”.

In a statement released today, ACS chairman Kumar Parakala said that although the Government has acted swiftly to stabilise and stimulate the Australian economy in the short term, the package excluded ICT-related strategies and did not acknowledge "that technology is a driver of productivity growth in Australia".

"The Federal Government's own research supports the importance of the ICT industry and the role it plays in developing our Digital Economy," said Parakala.

"Until the government endorses its research with action, it cannot claim that it is doing all in its power to stave off the effects of the global financial crisis and its impact on Australians".

Parakala also verbally attacked the government for the ICT policies it was moving ahead with, under the guise that its approach is too fragmented.

"It is not sufficient to boil ICT down to broadband and a strategy to provide a laptop per child," Parakala said.

"A Digital Economy strategy and re-investment in ICT R&D, ICT innovation and venture capitalist incentives are essential to stimulate our industry and economy.

"The ACS has been foremost in welcoming these initiatives, however what is required is a whole of government approach and a focused strategy, followed by execution to get quick wins. We now need leadership and direction to focus on execution and tangible outcomes to reinvigorate our economy, and harness the power of the Digital Economy."

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