The Australian Government has announced that it intends to make a huge investment in digital education for works, along with artificial intelligence, incentivising investment in game, refreshing government services, digitising SMEs, data management, emerging aviation technologies and cyber security.

The ambitious new technology package is worth $1.2 billion was announced on Thursday the 6th May aims to have Australia’s economy perceived as a “modern and leading digital economy” by 2030.

Of the $1.2 billion, more than $100 million plans to be spent on a new pilot program that aims to helping Australians build their digital skills. The investment will result in an introduction of word-based cadetships to drive a “cyber workforce” and scholarships for emerging technology graduates.

An additional $124.1 million will be spent on artificial intelligence enterprises, such as; a National Artificial Intelligence Centre, led by CSIRO Data 61, bolstered by a $50 million investment in government cyber-security enhancement. 

The Treasury believes that a strong digital economy is key to an economic future that encourages job creation and wage growth. Australia’s Digital Strategy will enable businesses across the country to capitalise on the opportunities that these new technologies are creating. These important digital adoptions will improve Australia’s competitiveness on a global scale and lift the productivity of Australia’s workforce.

The government will allocate $200.1 million for a complete revamp of myGov in a bid to improve its user experience so users can find what they need easier, supplemented by an additional $301.8 million bumper to the My Health Record and digital identity systems. 

The Australian government will also incentivise investment in video game development as it introduces a Digital Games Tax Offset of 30 percent to encourage Australian developers in an increasingly competitive international market. 

As part of the Digital Games Tax Offset incentive, the federal government will later announce changes to the way businesses are able to claim depreciation of intangible assets like intellectual property and in-house software. 

Small businesses are set to receiving a $12.7 million boost as the government expands the Australian Small Business Advisory Service. The sector will also receive a $15.3 million investment in e-invoicing to encourage wider uptake, as the government contemplates a mandate through a phased approach starting with large businesses.

This is set to include working with payment providers including; Visa, eftpos, Mastercard and New Payments Platform Australia to integrate e-invoicing into the main payment methods used by businesses. 

Educational activities will also be undertaken to raise business awareness of the benefits of implementing e-invoicing, and are likely to include cost savings, faster payment times, a reduction in errors and a reliable and secure transaction of data. 

The Federal Government often praises e-invoicing for its productivity benefits as opposed to its ability for tax compliance potential. Based on how the service is being used overseas it is highly possibility that e-invoicing will be used in the future to prevent tax evasion and to combat the black economy. 

As the Federal Government considers its approach towards mandating e-invoicing for businesses, the ATO and other government agencies have announced that they will not be able to access e-invoices exchanged between businesses. This means they will not be able to view the e-invoices contents and details. 

This announcement rules e-invoicing out as a tax compliance tool in Australia. However, a number of governments across the globe have increasingly chosen to utilise the benefits of e-invoicing to facilitate tax compliance. 

An extra $35.7 million will be assigned to emerging aviation technology, like drones, as well as grants to support the use of new technology in regional Australia. 

The government rounded out its investment with a $111.3 million spend on data management, to accelerate the rollout of Consumer Data Right across the banking, telecommunications and energy sectors.