Senator the Hon Helen Coonan
Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts
Addressing the future of interactive media—National AIMIA Summit 2005—Sydney—30 & 31 August 2005
Welcome to the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association National Summit 2005.
The digital content industry is one of the fastest growing sectors across the global economy.
This presents a real opportunity for Australia to be at the forefront of a new and growing market and I believe Government and Industry must work together to capture this opportunity.
The Australian Government is keen to see that the Australian industries working across film, broadband, mobile content, broadcasting and the information and communications sectors have the capability and the competitive edge to participate fully in this huge market.
Importance of the digital content industry
Digital content applications and services — are everywhere.
People are downloading digital wallpaper, ringtones and interactive games for their mobile phones with gusto.
Online banking and travel bookings are very popular as are the real estate pages. Looking for a new home is now just a ‘click’ away rather than a weekend trek.
The health industries are recognising the benefits of digital content in relation to remote diagnostic work.
The education sector is increasing the range of curriculum services delivered online.
Professionals working in mining, architecture and spatial industries have all had their working life transformed by the visualisation capability that digital content provides.
Many industries are looking over the horizon to the home to transform products and technologies we use everyday in working from home, keeping entertained and securing our houses.
While many people think of games, special effects and web sites as digital content - we know that the industry is much bigger and more far-reaching than this.
The total value of the digital content industry in Australia today is estimated to be around $20 billion and to employ more than 300,000 people.
The work of the digital content industry impacts on all sectors of the Australian economy and it is this impact that provides one of the most exciting challenges of my portfolio.
Sectors such as finance, architecture, engineering, health and education are all fast becoming part of the digital revolution, presenting significant opportunities for the economy.
Because it is digital, this industry presents enormous export opportunities – as long as a large broadband connection is available, the world is at your doorstep.
Australian Government’s commitment
During the 2004 election campaign the Australian Government made two key election commitments for this industry.
Firstly, our continued support of the Digital Content Industry Action Agenda and secondly, the development of a national Digital Content Strategy.
The Australian Government understands that the development of compelling digital content and applications will be a key driver in promoting the take up of a range of new technologies.
These technologies include broadband, interactive television and next generation mobile phones for consumers and businesses.
The Government’s support for the Digital Content Industry Action Agenda is an important mechanism for achieving these objectives.
Digital Content Industry Action Agenda
The Digital Content Industry Action Agenda is an industry-led initiative.
This is vitally important because it is people like you, who work day-in, day-out in this sector, who are in a position to steer the digital sector on the path to a successful future.
I am with you on this journey.
The Digital Content Industry Action Agenda has been underway for the last 12 months and is led by the Strategic Industry Leaders Group.
Widespread consultation with industry, including peak bodies, such as the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association, is underway to set priorities for improving Australia’s global performance.
The Australian Interactive Media Industry Association has been an active and constructive participant in the Action Agenda process and I commend you on your efforts to move your industry forward.
Why a Digital Content Industry Action Agenda?
The basis for this Action Agenda is to build a cohesive voice for industry.
We need to identify priorities so the industry can grow as well as identify a range of technology platforms and industry sectors.
The Strategic Industry Leaders Group guiding the Action Agenda has informed me that Working Groups have looked closely at key issues such as skills and training, investment, exports and research and development.
Intellectual property, statistics and standards have also been considered so you can see just how complex and all encompassing this job really is.
The Action Agenda is a framework for building a cohesive voice for industry to advance commercial industry development and build a broad industry relationship with Government.
At the same time, I am acutely aware of the part that digital content will play in the future of media, telecommunications and other broader cultural, economic and sectoral issues.
That is why the Government has committed to develop a comprehensive Digital Content Strategy once the Action Agenda report is received.
The foundations we agree upon will ensure that we move forward to realise opportunities and overcome any impediments.
But the Action Agenda is first and foremost an industry process.
This is your opportunity to identify what you see as the priorities for this sector and how you move your industry forward.
AIMIA National Summit 2005
The Australian Interactive Media Industry Association National Summit comes at a crucial time for the digital content industry.
With some 500 members spanning the interactive media sector in Australia, your discussions and deliberations over the next two days are very important.
Take the opportunity to feed what happens over the next two days into the Digital Content Industry Action Agenda.
We need your input to ensure that the process takes into account your views on how we move towards a successful digital future.
I look forward to hearing about the outcomes of the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association National Summit 2005.
Thank you and have a great Summit!