Ensuring everyone can use and enjoy new digital technology

Michael Ferguson,Minister for Science and Technology

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

This is why we commissioned a study through the Tasmanian Council of Social Service (TasCOSS) to increase our understanding of where Tasmanians may be experiencing high levels of digital exclusion.

The TasCOSS report released today identifies the key characteristics of low digital inclusion in Tasmania and identifies some locations experiencing digital disadvantage.

In line with findings from the Australian Digital Inclusion Index, the study shows that the main barriers preventing individuals and communities from accessing the digital world are access to suitable and reliable technology, affordability and a lack of sufficient knowledge and skills.

We know that when Tasmanians are connected to digital services they are increasingly able to participate online and expand their social and economic options and opportunities.

This report will help the Hodgman Liberal Government to further develop our Digital Ready for Daily Life program, which aims to enhance digital pathways by promoting locally-based coaching and training sessions, and will also provide targeted sessions around the state.

This is in addition to the work we are already doing through Libraries Tasmania, which offers a range of basic computing and technology introduction courses, as well as free access to computers and the internet at more than 50 locations.

And of course, Tasmanians can also get online through our Free Wi-Fi network which is available in 72 different community locations.

The full report is available at http://bit.ly/TascossDigitalInclusion

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