Economic and Political Outlook 2021

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Technology | Innovation

Rapid uptake of data and technology needed to maximise Australia’s economic growth - CEDA research

Australia will need to more rapidly take up new technologies if it is to maximise economic growth, according to new CEDA research.

In releasing CEDA’s latest report on Monday, Connecting people with progress: securing future economic development, CEDA CEO Melinda Cilento said the report identified technology and data as one of five policy stack priority areas and highlighted the need for people to be put at the centre of policy to harness the full benefits of emerging technologies. 

“Australia’s rapid uptake of information and communication technologies in the 1990s relative to other countries contributed to strong productivity growth of 2.2 per cent per annum, however in recent times this had tapered off to 1.4 per cent,” she said.

“The possibilities available to increase quality of life and economic growth are enormous and range from sensors in cities to manage congestion and commuter safety, advances in early detection of disease and even vertical farming to name a few.

“Government has a key role in stewardship of the adoption and application of new technologies, ensuring potential adverse impacts are identified and managed.

“We now have better technological tools to help address social challenges, healthcare, education, climate change and urbanisation.

“However, Australia will need to be smart in how it regulates emerging technologies, new business models and markets, ensuring new businesses are not deterred from entry and that established businesses are not placed at a competitive disadvantage as a result of uneven regulatory playing fields.

“Policy and regulation will need to more agile and nimble to keep up with rapid changes to support consumer and community trust in the digital age.

“Government leadership should focus on the promotion and adoption of ethical principles of artificial intelligence, data mining and autonomous systems.”

Ms Cilento said CEDA research found that governments will need to work harder to keep up with the rapid evolution of new technologies, with scope to improve their own service delivery and accountability through technology and data advances.

“The 21st century will need a new operating system for government in relation to technology and data,” she said.

“Future growth opportunities will rely on government and businesses contributing to and enabling new models of engagement and collaboration across sectors, to break down knowledge silos to manage and capitalise on emerging technology, data and artificial intelligence.”

Melinda Cilento is available for further comment and interviews.
 
Along with workplace, workforce and collaboration, CEDA’s new policy stack to deliver future economic development for Australia includes technology and data; population; critical services; and institutions. 
To read more on each of the policy stack areas, download the full report, Connecting people with progress: securing future economic development.

Connecting people with progress: securing future economic development full report 

Connecting people with progress: securing future economic development summary report
Connecting people with progress: securing future economic development  infographic brochure 

About CEDA

CEDA – the Committee for Economic Development of Australia – is an independent, not-for-profit membership organisation.

We identify policy issues that matter for Australia’s future. We work to drive policies that deliver better economic, social and environmental outcomes for Australia. We deliver on our purpose by: Leveraging insights from our members to identify and understand the most important issues Australia faces. Facilitating collaboration and idea sharing to invoke imaginative, innovative and progressive policy solutions. Providing a platform to stimulate thinking, raise new ideas and debate critical and challenging issues. Influencing decision makers in government, business and the community by delivering objective information and expert analysis and advocating in support of our positions. CEDA's membership spans every state and territory and includes Australia's leading businesses, community organisations, government departments and academic institutions. The organisation was founded in 1960 by leading economist Sir Douglas Copland, and his legacy of applying economic analysis to practical problems to aid the development of Australia continues as we celebrate 60 years of influence, reform and impact across the nation.;