Western Australian government seeks feedback on draft digital inclusion blueprint

The Western Australia government has released a draft digital inclusion blueprint to gather feedback on how to make Western Australia more digitally inclusive.

Developed by the Office of Digital Government, the draft blueprint [PDF] has proposed that there needs to be a coordinated approach between the state government, industry, and communities to improve digital inclusion in Western Australia.

The blueprint outlined how those specifically on low incomes, living in regional and remote communities, Aboriginal communities, the elderly, and people with disability currently have trouble accessing technology.

According to the draft blueprint, there are four key priority areas that need to be addressed to achieve digital inclusion. This includes digital connectivity, internet affordability, digital skills, and the design of online government services.

Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly said the aim of the blueprint is to ensure everyone in the state has equal access to digital technologies.

“The recent pandemic has further highlighted the challenges for those in our community who do not have ready access to these technologies,” he said.

“The draft blueprint outlines a strategy for government, community, and industry to work together to build on existing initiatives as well as develop new ways to improve digital inclusion for Western Australians.”

The draft blueprint also listed how digital inclusion in Western Australia could lead to the delivery of better community services, such as online health, education, and judicial services; boost prosperity in regional and remote communities by providing access to technologies such as the Internet of Things; and support the growth of science, technology, engineering, and maths industries.  

The Western Australian government said feedback on the draft blueprint would be used to inform the development of the final version of the blueprint, which is due to be released later this year or early 2021. 

“I encourage community, industry, and not-for-profit stakeholders to help us better understand this important issue and ensure their feedback will contribute to a more digitally inclusive WA,” Kelly said.

Consultation on the draft blueprint closes on September 18.

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