Victorian tech industry wants clear path out of lockdown

Calls for the State Government provide a clear path for the industry, out of stage four lockdown

The technology industry in the Australian state of Victoria, want the government to articulate a clear roadmap out of current restrictions to boost confidence in the sector, revealed Australia’s industry representative body for innovation technology, the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA).

The call comes from the AIIA’s survey it conducted recently with its Victorian based members. The survey results have been released following a meeting with the Victorian Minister for Employment, Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy, Minister Jaala Pulford, as part of a discussion on the road to recovery for the tech sector.

The survey confirmed that Victoria’s Stage four lockdown has had a dramatic impact on the local technology sector.

The survey shows that for 70 per cent of AIIA members, the Victorian Government has not clearly articulated a clear roadmap out of the current restrictions that gives their businesses confidence.

It showed that 65 per cent of tech companies in the State, many of whom are SMEs and professional services companies, were worse off under current restrictions compared to only a few months ago with revenue reduction (69 per cent) the largest area of impact followed by business continuity (41 per cent) while 25 per cent stated that the viability of their business was being impacted.

On the critical issue of jobs, the survey data is concerning with 38 per cent stating that the current Stage four restrictions will result in workforce reductions with another 28 per cent unsure. State border closures were also cited as impacting business.

AIIA CEO Ron Gauci said, there was frustration with the lack of a clear roadmap, consultation and engagement and exit strategy for Victorian business.

“What these AIIA data shows is that this is in fact the case and it also suggests that jobs have been lost and the adverse impact on businesses will continue long after restrictions are relaxed,” he said. “The survey results and its messages are clear, we are pleased that in Minister Pulford we have an active and engaged Minister who has committed to working with the AIIA and the sector to delivery targeted policies that support the local economy and jobs.”

According to AIIA, it was no “no surprise that our members see that accelerating digital investment to aid recovery in Victoria is vital with 85 per cent agreeing”.

The main area of focus suggested by members was Victorian Government invest in much needed digitisation projects (81 per cent), noted Gauci.

The AIIA is a not-for-profit organisation aimed at fuelling Australia’s future social and economic prosperity through technology innovation.



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