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Below is a summary of major government work on digital inclusion; for a list of all government initiatives, refer to Australia’s Tech Future website.

Governments, at all levels, are investing in digital inclusion in Australia and the Indo-Pacific Region. The Government is working with businesses and the community sector to ensure no-one is left behind, by creating an enabling environment for industry investment and ensuring adquate protections are in place for citizens and consumers.

Initiatives include:

  • Universal Service Guarantee which will ensure all Australians have access to voice and broadband services into the future, regardless of their location, and which will be complemented by an up-to-date consumer protection framework. The Guarantee will be underpinned by the rollout of the NBN, which will mean that all premises will have access to fast, affordable broadband by 2020. The expansion and improvement of mobile coverage via the Mobile Black Spot Program is also enhancing access to digital services
  • improving access for people with chronic conditions through the Health Care Homes program
  • yearly funding through the Telephone Allowance and requires Telstra to maintain the Low Income Measures Assessment Committee to provide assistance for some of the more vulnerable members of the community
  • the Digi House initiative which improves digital inclusion for people living in social housing
  • the NISA ‘Women in STEM’ package has expanded to encourage more women into STEM education and careers. The 2018-19 Budget provides for an additional $4.5 million over four years to progress a Women in Science Strategy, a Roadmap for sustained increases in women’s STEM participation, a Women in STEM Ambassador to promote STEM in schools and the development of a STEM Choices resources kit
  • Towards 2025: An Australian Government Strategy to boost women’s workforce participation, the Government’s roadmap to reduce the gender participation gap by 25 per cent by 2025
  • the Be Connected program that helps older Australians participate in their communities, including in the workforce, by improving their digital confidence, skills and online safety
  • advocating that all peoples’ human rights apply online as they do offline, through Australia’s membership of the Human Rights Council, as well as our support of the Freedom Online Coalition and the Digital Defenders.

The Government believes all Australians should have the opportunity to acquire digital skills regardless of their age, level of education or previous experience. The Government will collaborate with key stakeholders to explore initiatives to reduce the digital inclusion divide and support greater life-long engagement in evolving technological resources.