Australian’s Perceive Lack of Government Action to Support the IT Industry

NORTH SYDNEY – OCTOBER 29, 2001 – Findings from IDC Australia's latest Market Sentiment Monitor show a perceived lack of government action to support the IT industry. This IT policy vacuum is resulting in an apathetic response from Australia's business and IT leaders.


In October 2001, IDC Australia interviewed 250 senior business and IT leaders of medium and large organisations. The study – titled the Market Sentiment Monitor – is conducted on a tri-annual basis and provides insight into the current sentiment of the business community on an array of topics.

An overwhelming majority (72%) of respondents to the survey saw no difference in either of the major political parties when asked which government they believed would be best for Australian business and IT. This indicates that neither the Liberal and National Coalition nor the Labor party have fully understood and captured the needs of Australian business and IT leaders. However the Coalition did rank considerably higher with 19% of respondents favouring the Coalition party over the Labor Opposition (9%) to best serve the needs of Australian business and IT.

Brooke Galloway, Program Manager, Internet and eCommerce commented,Despite having cabinet representatation with Senator Richard Alston and shadow ministry representation in Kate Lundy, IT policies from both major parties have had little or no impact on business perception. In order to offer an environment that stimulates growth and ideas, Government and the Opposition need to review key policies to encourage the development and commercialisation of Australian IT innovators. Australia is clearly a peripheral player in the world of IT innovation. Whilst Australia has proved to be a major consumer of IT products and services, it has failed to position itself as a country in which IT innovation thrives.

Business perception is that the Government has not delivered effective policy outcomes for the IT industry in Australia. And the sad reality is that perception of the Opposition party is even more." notes Galloway. IDC believes it is important for governments and businesses to join forces to ensure the nation's prosperity. More specifically, the private and public sectors need to co-operate in order to create the necessary environment to participate in the new economy.

Further reinforcing Australian business apathy towards major party policies, a massive 79% of business and IT leaders interviewed reported the impending election would have no impact on their current and planned IT activity. This underlines that Australians are consumers of IT and that there is little spending on IT innovation in the pipeline that would be affected by the election outcome.

Clearly, the government must work closely with the private sector in order to create taxation and regulatory frameworks, which encourage IT investment and innovation. To date, the Australian government has done little to stimulate IT within the economy and must act quickly. If the government continues to neglect IT, Australia will find itself at a competitive disadvantage compared to other comparable nations.

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