AIIA takes a swipe at ICT-free Election campaign with open letter to parties

Industry representative body calls on parties to unite in supporting the concept of high-speed digital infrastructure as the economic foundation for the future

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) has published an open letter calling on all political parties to stop the short-term nature of the election discourse to focus more on digital foundations for our economic future.

Published in daily newspapers, the open letter signed by AIIA CEO, Ian Birks, notes the body's members are "concerned at the lack of debate" on critical issues across the breadth of the ICT market.

The AIIA counts among its ranks: Dell, Microsoft, Data#3, Fujitsu, Google, HP, IBM, Lenovo, Oracle, Cisco, Red Hat, SAP, SingTel Optus, Telstra, Unisys and a raft of other well-known and successful ICT organisations.

"This concern is not self-serving," the letter reads. "The short term nature of the current debate could allow decisions following the election that will compromise our nation's future prosperity - at a time when we should be investing for the post-resources period we will ultimately enter over time."

It also calls on the government to "elevate the debate" and for the Opposition to "clarify its position on ubiquitous high speed digital infrastructure for all Australians and how they intend to maximise Australia's place in the future global digital economy".

The Greens, Labor and Liberals are set to debate ICT issues at the National Press Club today and many expect the Coalition to finally release its broadband policy after months of silence and statements it will cut the NBN.

"Proposing to stop building the NBN might be a convenient political strategy but if it comes without an alternative plan for ubiquitous high speed digital infrastructure and associated digital economy programs it will be short selling our future proseperity," the AIIA letter reads.

There is very strong support for the NBN or something that provides similar outcomes - ubiquitous high-speed infrastructure that is scalable into the future - among the various representative bodies in the ICT industry but many have been left exasperated by the Opposition's refusal to provide an alternative policy two weeks prior to the election.

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Tags Federal Election 2010Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA)

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