January 7, 2009 By News Report
The Rudd Government last month released a report titled: Interacting with Government: Australians' Use and Satisfaction with e-Government Services -- 2008 which shows that in 2008 the Internet has replaced contact in person and by telephone as the most common way people had made their last contact with government.
Lindsay Tanner, minister for finance and deregulation said: "Over the four years this study has been undertaken we have seen successive increases in use of the Internet as a tool to interact with government."
The results of the 2008 study demonstrate the increasing importance of online service delivery and the potential role new technologies could play in assisting governments to reach out and engage with citizens.
"The study provides vital insight," said Tanner, "not only into how and why people use e-government services, but also how they would like to do so in future.
"Citizen-centric delivery of government services is evolving; governments must continue to keep pace with technological change and meet public expectations about how government services should be delivered.
"That is why the government is about to conduct trials involving Web 2.0 technology as a means of undertaking public consultation with the wider community.
"The 2008 study reinforces many of the trends seen in previous years while also dispelling some assumptions about who is using the Internet, and how and why they are doing so."
Results show that older Australians are using the Internet more, and Australians of all ages are using it to contact government. New technologies are being used by all age groups, in all parts of Australia. Large numbers of people who are already using the Internet to contact government also use blogs, social networking Web sites and wikis.
"Research such as the Interacting with Government study highlights the opportunities we have to improve government services by applying new technologies," said Tanner, "providing secure and trusted environments and making the ways of interacting with government simple, convenient and easy to use."
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.