In the digital age, we have more information than ever before.
With the right framework in place, this data will fuel digital innovation and productivity growth across Australia.
Of course at all times, there needs to be a strong framework to ensure that personal data remains secure and safe.
That’s why Labor is proposing a National Information Policy to ensure Australia seizes the opportunities of the digital age, including the jobs of the future.
Labor’s information reform agenda would identify obstacles to information generation, protection, access and use.
In the same way that Paul Keating saw the opportunities of competition reform, Labor sees the opportunities of information reform to our economy.
By opening up access to de-identified data, we can create a more efficient, productive, consumer driven economy.
Under this Liberal Government, Australia has fallen three positions to 10th in World Wide Web Foundation’s Open Data Barometer Rankings.
At the most basic level, Labor’s National Information Policy will open up existing government data sets: geospatial, environmental, statistical, land-use and public registers.
All of this information is collected by government as a matter of course and is of enormous value to our community.
But Labor’s agenda goes beyond government data. We also need to seriously look at how we can optimise the use of data throughout the public, private and community sectors.
Open data has the potential to inspire the next generation of Australian startups and support thousands of new jobs.
Entrepreneurs are now able to transform datastreams into productivity-enhancing services for others.
For example, public transport service data is integrated with our personal calendars in apps that provide us with personalised reminders.
The UK Open Data Institute has identified open data driven businesses that employ more than 500,000 people and turn over £92 million.
In the US, open meteorological data alone has created 400 companies and 4000 jobs.
Developing a world leading data access and governance environment in Australia will significantly add to the nation’s research capacity and increase the nation’s attractiveness as an investment destination.
The McKinsey Global Institute has estimated that there are more than US $3 trillion ($4 trillion) in potential global benefits from the use of open data in education, transport, consumer products, electricity, oil and gas, health care and consumer finance worldwide.
A Lateral Economics/Omidyar Network analysis commissioned for the 2014 G20 suggested that more vigorous open data policies could add at least $16 billion to the Australian economy, each year.
The explosive growth in digitisation and connectivity in Australia has created an opportunity for a new, economy-wide productivity agenda.
Open data will allow all levels of government to identify wastage and inefficiencies, while facilitating more targeted service delivery.
Across the Australian economy harnessing the transformative power of digital data will fuel innovation and productivity, and secure the jobs of the future.
For the details of Labor’s National Information Policy visit: www.alp.org.au/nationalinformationpolicy