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What’s in store for us as the state goes digital

QUEENSLAND is on the verge of a digital revolution - that's according to Minister for Information Technology Ian Walker, who was in Bundaberg yesterday to launch the State Government's Digital Economy Strategy Action Plan.

But what does that mean for the average Bundaberg resident?

Health care will take a digital-first approach according to the minister, who says a greater emphasis will be placed on vital technologies such as rural tele-health and specialist video link services.

"We can do it in a whole lot of other areas," Mr Walker said.

But he was quick to reassure that the digital-first philosophy would not replace real life services.

"It is digital-first, not digital only," he said.

Mr Walker said it would now be easier for people to apply for cards and tenders online, with 100 new online services available online this year and another 100 set for 2015.

It was launched in Bundaberg because of the great work done on the ground.

"Now, for example, you can get a Seniors Card or renew a drivers' licence - you can do that online," he said.

"We want that access to be 24/7.

"Small to medium businesses in Bundaberg who want to tender for government business can do that online."

Mr Walker said part of the plan would be to encourage disadvantaged and older people to use the web.

"Many older Queenslanders get online and they love it," he said.

The minister said it was no mistake Bundaberg was chosen to launch the state's online operation.

"It was launched in Bundaberg because of the great work done on the ground," he said.

Mr Walker praised Bundaberg Regional Council and Bundaberg Chamber of Commerce laying the foundations of a local digital economy that inspired the state to get on board.

"Switched On Bundaberg was doing a great job at a local level and we wanted to do the same thing at a state level," he said.

Mr Walker said it was up to local businesses to get on board with a positive attitude and reap the benefits of the global market.

"The opportunity to do business online is going to be a huge plus for Bundaberg businesses," he said.

"The main thing in particular for small businesses to remember is if they're not online they'll miss the boat."

Bundaberg regional council Economic Development portfolio spokesman Greg Barnes said it was essential for local businesses to get online.

"Word is definitely spreading throughout the business community and not-for-profit organisations about the benefits of tapping in to the digital economy," he said.

He said the council was continuing to roll out the Bundaberg Digital Enterprise Program with more workshops next month to help businesses get digital.

"To date we've seen 240 participants and 110 unique organisations partake in the program," he said.

For information on the council's Digital Enterprise Program, head to http://www.businessbundaberg.com.au.

Find out more about the digital economy at http://www.godigitalqld.dsitia.qld.gov.au.

Topics:  ian walker, state government



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