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Aus Financial sector leads push for e-commerce

Senator Ian Campbell, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, today praised the financial sector for its willingness to invest in e-commerce during his keynote address at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) E-commerce: The Future for Financial Services conference in Sydney.

'The financial sector underpins the whole economy and has always been at the vanguard of the push to take up new technology,' Senator Campbell said.

'Investment in e-commerce has meant that Australia's economy is amongst the healthiest in the industrialised world.

'The Government is committed to ensuring that Australia remains at the forefront of the e-revolution through providing assistance, particularly to small and medium enterprises, and by providing a supportive legislative framework.'

Programs such as Information Technology On Line (ITOL) and the $158 million Building on IT Strengths (BITS) program - funded by the second partial sale of Telstra - encourage development and growth of the Australian Information Technology and Communications sector.

'Governments also need to be at the forefront of e-commerce and the Government Online strategy will revolutionise the way people do business with Government,' said Senator Campbell.

In 1997, the Prime Minister made a commitment that all appropriate services are provided online by 2001-this timeframe puts Australia several years ahead of the United Kingdom and the United States.

'Whether it is business or government, or business to business, electronic transactions are the way to do business in the Information Age. The financial sector has recognised this and is a driving force in embracing the new technology,' said Senator Campbell.

To read more go to www.dcita.gov.au

See also www.australia.org.nz

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