News in Review

Scuttled GST could provide IT opportunities: ACSThe apparent scuttling of the Federal Government's GST plans could prove to be a boon for Australia's "ignored" IT&T industry, according to the Australian Computer Society (ACS).

The ACS has issued a press release attacking the budget the Federal Government handed down last month, saying it "completely ignored" the industry and is too focused on "short-term issues like the GST".

"Here's an industry that can deliver jobs, that can deliver economic growth and actually set Australian society up. While we recognise that it's the Government's prerogative to concentrate on the GST and other issues, the hope is that they will now also look at some of these other issues that may have slipped through the net," ACS president Prins Ralston said.

ACS launches computer driving licence

A new computer training initiative was launched by the Australian Computer Society (ACS) last month, with the hope that it will raise the level of computer literacy across all Australians, young and old.

Called the International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL), the program will introduce a standardised syllabus for basic PC skills, covering seven modules including word processing, spreadsheets, managing PC files, information network services and databases. The training will be provided by accredited training institutions across Australia. A $60 "Skills Card" will be used to record users' progress through the course, and once completed will be exchanged for an ICDL Driving Licence, the ACS announced.

NSW Government on target for Oct Y2K

The New South Wales (NSW) Office of Information Technology (OIT) estimates that the NSW public sector has completed 85 per cent of its year 2000 work, with most are on track to complete Y2K remediation by October 1999.

"Ninety per cent of agencies are on target to meet the Government's October deadline to ensure critical government systems affected by the bug are repaired, rectified or replaced," said Minister for Information Technology Kim Yeadon, adding: "I have been assured those agencies behind schedule will be able to meet the October deadline."

According to a report in Computer-world, departments behind on Y2K readiness by more than 20 per cent include the Olympic Roads and Traffic Authority, the NSW Meat Industry Authority and the Cobar Water Board.

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