Lead by TasCOSS, the peak body for Tasmania’s community services industry, Beacon Foundation along with TasICT, The Smith Family, Carers Tasmania, COTA Tasmania, NILS Tasmania and Neighbourhood Houses Tasmania have joined forces and formed the Tasmanian digital inclusion alliance to urge all political leaders to commit to policies and actions that improve digital access, affordability and ability to ensure no Tasmanian is left offline.
TasCOSS CEO Adrienne Picone said Tasmania was the most digitally disadvantaged state in the country, with more than 65,000 Tasmanians unable to participate online.
“The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the digital divide in our state that without urgent action is at risk of becoming even wider,” Ms Picone said.
“Access to digital services is essential for daily life, in the same way as electricity and water, and as the first state to see the full rollout of the nbn network, we should be making the most of the opportunities that digital technology brings.
“From remote schooling, to working from home or researching and applying for jobs, having access to devices and the internet has never been more vital.”
The Tasmanian digital inclusion alliance have prepared Joint Statement on Digital Inclusion seeking commitments from all candidates and parties to a range of initiatives including improving Tasmania’s Australian Digital Inclusion Index score to at least the national average by 2025, introducing a telecommunications concession, and the provision of devices and dongles/data to all State Government school students from upper primary through to Year 12.
Beacon Foundation look forward to working with the alliance to ensure an active closure of the digital divide.
For more information, please refer to the 2021 State Election Joint Statement on Digital Inclusion.