The federal opposition plans to introduce a “digital pigeonhole” for Australians who want to receive communications from the government electronically as part of its digital economy and “e-government” policy.
The Coalition says it will trial an opt-in pigeonhole from 2014, which will be a free, secure digital inbox that can be used as a standalone “mailbox” or be combined with another email address for communication from all levels of government.
Shadow finance minister Andrew Robb and shadow minister for communications Malcolm Turnbull released the policy at the York Butter Factory incubator in Melbourne.
“We recognise that the single most important challenge for Australia is how do we remain competitive and prosperous and strong in a much more competitive world,” Turnbull said at the launch.
“The key is better use of information and communications technology.”
The Coalition’s policy includes requiring “virtually all” government services and public interactions to be available digitally, as well as in hard copy, by 2017 on an opt-in basis.
It also plans to require government agencies to trial next generation tele-presence systems from 2014, improve transparency of government ICT spending and encourage government agencies to use cloud services and operate their IT functions more efficiently.
Turnbull said it was hoped businesses would be inspired to embrace and adopt technology.
“You need to have a constantly open mind and a readiness to accept that the technological assumptions of yesterday may not work tomorrow,” he said.
“You need to be prepared to take almost a revolutionary approach to the way you do business, whether in government and in the corporate sector because the alternative is you get smashed.”