2020 Federal Budget CEO Update - New Digital Plan to Drive and Support Economic Recovery


29 September 2020

Today the Prime Minister, Hon Scott Morrison MP, and the Treasurer, Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, announced a new digital plan to drive and support our economic recovery.

The Federal Government is investing almost $800 million to enable businesses to take advantage of digital technologies to grow their businesses and create jobs. The COVID-19 pandemic has fast-tracked technology plans and accelerated digitisation strategies by Australian consumers and businesses, which has not just enabled trade though the crisis, but also promoted more efficient operations and a transformation in the way goods and services are offered, purchased, and used by Australians.

The Prime Minister stated that the 2020 Federal Budget will support businesses to recover, rebuild and create more jobs, as part of our economic recovery plan.

“Many businesses moved online quickly when the pandemic hit, undergoing a decade of change in months, finding new customers or new ways of doing things. Our JobMaker Digital Business Plan provides significant backing to continue that digital push and expand opportunities for businesses to grow and create more jobs. The Plan supports Australia’s economic recovery by removing out-dated regulatory barriers, boosting the capability of small businesses, and backs the uptake of technology across the economy,” the Prime Minister said.

AFIA supports the Government’s announcement, with many of the key elements of the Digital Business Plan mirroring proposals we’ve advocated for on behalf of our members, including:

  • Introducing digital identification – $256.6 million to develop a Digital Identity system to enable more secure and convenient engagement with government services, and in future, the private sector.
  • Widening access to the Open Banking regime – a further $28.5 million to support the rollout of the Consumer Data Right to the banking and energy sectors, which is in addition to the more than $120 million already committed.
  • Enabling technology uptake in key industry sectors – $29.2 million to accelerate the rollout of 5G, including an initiative to invest in 5G commercial trials and testbeds in key industry sectors, such as agriculture, mining, logistics and manufacturing.
  • Supporting digital transformation for SMEs – $22.2 million to support small business operators take advantage of digital technologies through an expansion of the Australian Small Business Advisory Service – Digital Solutions program, a Digital Readiness Assessment tool and a Digital Directors training package and $2.5 million to connect workers and small and medium sized businesses to digital skills training.
  • Promoting fintech and regtech – $11.4 million for a new regulatory technology commercialisation initiative to improve compliance and directly support our digital technology firms.
  • Leveraging talent in financial services and fintech – $9.6 million to support fintechs to export financial services and attract inward investment.
  • De-regulation and making sure regulatory settings are appropriate to support competition, innovation, consumer choice and consumer protection – consulting on making permanent the temporary reforms to allow companies to hold virtual meetings and execute documents electronically as well as reviewing the regulatory architecture applying to the payments system to ensure it remains fit for purpose and is capable of supporting continued innovation for the benefit both businesses and consumers.

For details of the full Digital Business Plan, here’s the link to the Prime Minister and Treasurer’s media statement.

Categories: Budget Paper