Tasmanian’s long term future is reliant on a well-funded IT (Information Technology) sector and an IT literate Tasmania.

Senator Helen Polley has today called for a greater focus by the Hodgman State Government into the IT sector in Tasmania.

“The Hodgman Government needs to start taking this sector more seriously. There was no new funding in the State Budget for the IT sector. No funding for IT literacy or education and yet 75 per cent of future jobs will be in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM),” Senator Polley said. 

Tasmania currently suffers from the lowest rates of IT literacy in the country and there is no plan to become a tech savvy state.

“This Government has failed to outline or articulate an IT strategy for Tasmania. It is clearly not communicating with the sector, IT companies or the community even though this industry is vital to the future of our state,” Senator Polley said.  

“How is Tasmania supposed to address our lack of IT literacy if the current state government doesn’t even have an IT strategy after nearly four years in Government? Tasmania has the lowest level of IT literacy in the country.”

When you invest in the ICT sector, it also means you are investing in local people, investing in education and investing in small business all at the same time.

Tasmania has the potential to become a digital economy hub to attract more national and international businesses to our state. We are a state of many firsts including access to Gigabit connectivity,” Senator Polley said.

Labor understands that we must make important public investments to secure future opportunity and prosperity. You can’t grow an entire economy for the benefit of all Tasmanian’s without making core investments in digital infrastructure.

“I understand that we have a health crisis in Tasmania and the Minister is clearly overburdened in health, but we need a greater focus on the IT sector. It is just not fair that this industry is not being heard and there is no tangible investment or forward strategic plan for the sector,” Senator Polley said.