Budget 2020: Everything in Canberra’s AU$796.5m digital business plan


The Federal Government had already pledged A$796.5 million over four years from 2020-21 as part of its Digital Business Plan to further advance Australia to become a leading digital economy by 2030.

In its 2020-21 budget, the government detailed the plan which aims to improve productivity, income growth and jobs by supporting the adoption of digital technologies by Australian businesses.

“There’s no economic recovery without a job recovery,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said during his budget speech Tuesday night. “There is no fiscal stimulus without a recovery in employment.

“This budget is about jobs.”

Measures under the JobMaker Plan — Digital Business Plan label cover: modern digital infrastructure, reduced regulatory barriers, support and capabilities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and digital government that is easier to do Business.

The nearly A$800 million will be shared over four years by 16 departments, with Services Australia receiving the most – A$51.6 million – in the first year. The Australian Taxation Office will see A$44.7 million in 2020-21; and the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) will all receive approximately A$25 million in 2020-21.

As detailed in budget documents [PDF], actions under the Digital Business Plan to support modern digital infrastructure include: A$22.1 million over three years, from 2020 to 2021, to establish the Australian 5G Innovation Initiative to support private sector investment in 5G testbeds and trials; as well as A$7.2 million over two years from 2020-21 to support accelerated deployment of 5G infrastructure by improving spectrum allocation and management.

Measures to reduce regulatory barriers include: A$28.6 million in the first year to continue implementing the Consumer Data Right (CDR) and begin work on rolling it out in the energy sector, which is in the custody of the ACCC. This also includes the A$19.2 million announced in the government’s mid-year update.

See also: Consumer Data Right in Australia: Here’s everything you need to know

There’s also the A$11.4 million over four years that will be used to implement a Regtech commercialization initiative that the government says will streamline government administration and simplify regulatory compliance through the Regtech Initiative. business research and innovation.

Still cutting red tape, the budget allocated A$9.6 million over four years to bolster support for Australian fintech startups in their efforts to break into international markets. This money will also be used to encourage foreign investment and job creation in Australia, the Australian government wrote in the budget document.

As previously announced, A$6.9 million over two years from 2020-21 has been set aside to support industry-led pilot projects to demonstrate the application of blockchain technology to reduce regulatory compliance costs and encourage wider adoption of blockchain by Australian businesses.

Meanwhile, A$6 million over three years from 2020-21 has been allocated to strengthening Australia’s role in setting international standards and supporting businesses to implement those standards. This money will also be used to conduct a public consultation to make permanent changes to the Companies Act 2001 to enable businesses to convene and hold meetings electronically.

See also: Sea change: Fintech committee offers ‘quick wins’ solution to Australian ecosystem

Measures to support and strengthen the digital capabilities of SMEs include A$19.2 million over the next year to expand the Australian Small Business Advisory Services Digital Solutions program to an additional 10,000 small businesses.

A$3 million over four years has also been invested to develop a digital readiness assessment tool to help businesses self-assess their digital maturity and help leaders in Australian organizations improve their digital literacy and awareness. decision; and A$2.5 million will be allocated in 2020-21 to support an industry-led digital skills search platform to help SMEs find digital skills training courses for reskilling and upskilling. digital literacy.

The Australian government will also provide an additional $28.3 million over four years from 2020-21 to extend the Be Connected program to 2023-24, which helps Australians over 50 gain the skills they need need to participate in the digital economy.

Building on its long-promised plan to be a leading digital government, this year’s budget includes A$420 million over four years to move existing business registers to a modernized platform to enable creating a single, accessible and reliable source of trade data — funding for this, however, has already been allocated.

A$256.6 million over two years has been allocated to further develop and expand digital identity to improve access to government services and online payments.

“This funding would allow for the completion of biometric verification and the integration of myGov, the integration of additional services to help businesses and individuals access more Commonwealth government services online, and the trial use of digital identity with states and to develop legislation to enable the use of digital identity to be extended to other levels of government and the private sector,” the papers note.

See also: Australia’s biometric digital ID capability to move to public testing mid-2020

Also under the initiative, A$3.6 million over two years to facilitate the adoption of e-invoicing across all levels of government and A$500,000 in 2020-21, to be funded within existing Treasury Department resources, for a review of the governance and regulation of Australia’s domestic payments system.

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