Digital inclusion

One in five adult Australians or almost 4 million people, are not online. 

They're missing out, in part because they lack the confidence and the digital skills to take on the online world.

Our economic and social systems are moving in very different directions globally, nationally and locally. The downturn in manufacturing industries and an increasing reliance on digital and other technology is broadening the gap between people who are able to access opportunities and those who are not.

In many Australian neighbourhoods and communities there is a growing divide for people unable to afford, use or access digital technology. For many the benefits of technology can be unavailable, inaccessible or unaffordable.

For example:

  • most public housing tenants do not have the internet on at home

  • many people with limited incomes do not have computer equipment at home (particularly difficult for families with school age children)

  • most of this group of people use their phones as their only forms of digital communication

  • many young people are incurring debts through phone contracts - some still at school

  • many services, if not already online, will be soon

  • many older people (and some young) are afraid about online safety

  • many people believe technology is bad for social interaction

  • those people already suffering the effects of disadvantage are likely to be further marginalised by not having access to digital technology

  • many frontline services are also excluded from the best opportunities to strengthen their service delivery, save money and create a broader reach through using digital technology. Digital technology is still thought of by many community services and business as an unnecessary ‘extra’ to their core business.

Advances in innovation and technology bring us all far greater opportunities to connect with each other, learn more, create new ways to make money, do business, raise families and participate in society.

Digital inclusion ensures affordable and equal access to technology and skills development is available to all members of our community irrespective of income, ability or disadvantage. 

Page last updated: Tuesday, 11 February 2020