Digital inclusion continues to rise in our community

Michael Ferguson,Minister for Science and Technology

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is committed to improving digital inclusion for all Tasmanians.

We welcome today’s release of the Australian Digital Inclusion Index 2020, which shows that our state has made progress with digital inclusion in our community, despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report shows Tasmania’s score has improved from 58.1 per cent in 2019 to 59.6 per cent in 2020, and since coming to Government in 2014, our index score has risen by 8.1 per cent.

While this upward trend is positive, we know there is more work to do and we are focussed on delivering a number of practical measures to enhance digital inclusion for our community.

That’s why we launched our Digital Ready for Daily Life program last year, developed in consultation with TasCOSS and the not-for-profit sector. The program provides targeted digital assistance sessions and workshops delivered by partner community organisations, as well as raising public awareness of a wide range of locally-based coaching and training sessions, as well as free internet access available throughout the state.

This is in addition to the introductory computing and technology courses available at more than 50 Libraries Tasmania locations, as well as our Free Wi-Fi network which provides no-cost internet access to mobile devices at 72 different community locations.

This year, we also partnered with the Smith Family to build the confidence and ability of specific individuals, parents and/or guardians and families to use digital technology, as part of our Learning for Life program, and the Council on the Aging (COTA) to extend the Digital Clinic program to the West and East Coast.

The Digital Ready For Life website features a number of helpful how-to guides and instructional videos, and is available at www.digitalready.tas.gov.au/dailylife/

The in-person program, which was suspended due to the pandemic, has resumed and will return in 2021.

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