The federal government is extremely keen on driving innovation to make Australia more environmentally sustainable, and it believes that IT is a crucial part of achieving its green goals, according to Minister Assisting for the Digital Economy Senator Kate Lundy.
Speaking at the Sustainable Business Australia's Innovation@theReaDy Forum, Senator Lundy said the federal government's decision to push ahead with an emissions trading scheme shows its commitment to creating a more environmentally friendly country. Innovation is a vital contributor to this vision, as well.
"The intersection between the ballooning use of ICT and the imperative to lighten our carbon footprint provides the most awesome catalyst for innovation and change," Lundy said. "The combination of those two presents an immensely powerful opportunity to innovate."
Lifting productivity within the business community is a step toward fuelling innovation, and Lundy noted that the government has played a big part in doing exactly that for small businesses through offering GST rebates for software, such as MYOB accounting software.
"The next big phase of lifting productivity for small businesses is cloud, but to use cloud, you need bandwidth," she said. "So it all fits together that you can achieve efficiencies and opportunities by using ICT, but there are certain points of intervention pertinent for the government to make."
By rolling out the National Broadband Network (NBN), the federal government is trying to rectify a "market failure" in the telecommunications space, Lundy said.
"There was market failure in that construction of a high-bandwidth network that would facilitate the next generation of productivity growth and innovation, and that is why we're building [the NBN]," she said.
The federal government is also supporting the development of a Cloud Consumer Protocol, spearheaded by the Australian Computer Society as part of the National Strategy for Cloud Computing.