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Charities Community Organisations Associations

Government’s digital road map labelled a ‘dead end’ for charities and nonprofits

2 min read

Connecting Up Australia (CUA) is a nonprofit organisation focused on information and communication technologies (ICT) and their use in the nonprofit sector.

An outraged CUA CEO Doug Jacquier said “Senator Conroy calls this a ‘roadmap for Australia’s Digital Economy Future’ but for the nonprofit and charity sector it’s simply a dead end. In over 100 pages the nonprofit sector, employer of over 600,000 Australians, gets not a single mention.”

CUA’s submission to the policy development process argued for:
1. Recognition of the importance of the charitable and nonprofit sector in the Australian economy generally and in the digital economy specifically.

2. Effective representation of the nonprofit sector at all advisory and decision-making forums on digital economy matters.

3. Plans to provide specific and practical support towards upgrading the digital capacity of the Australian nonprofit sector that at least matches the level of investment in other sectors of the economy.

“We see digital capacity programs for government, for business, for education and seemingly every other interest group and no doubt all very worthy. We see $43 billion to build a national broadband network. But we don’t see a single cent for a sector that accounts for over 3 per cent of Australia’s GDP,” Jacquier said.

CUA would like the Government to:

– Map the existing and required technology needs and support required by nonprofits in urban and regional Australia.

– Develop systems for endorsement of suppliers of technology services to nonprofits.

– Establish an executive briefing centre to upgrade the strategic technology planning skills of boards and senior management.

– Research the measurable impact of improved technology capacity on nonprofit service delivery and community outcomes.

– Prepare a plan for a long-term investment fund for non-profit technology capacity development and the mechanisms for its development and management.

– Develop projects to support nonprofits such as technology ‘health check’ programs, technology support services, technology volunteers, and training and development.

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