The Dog’s Bollocks

Truth is like a dog’s bollocks – pretty obvious if you care to look.

Australian IT going down the gurgler

According to Grahame Philipson in The Age today if Australia was self-sufficient in IT – or even if our imports equalled our exports – our coal exports could all but disappear and we would be no worse off. Last year, Australia exported $24.5 billion worth of coal, and imported $25 billion in IT goods and services. We import more computer stuff than we export coal.

The Hawke/Keating government wanted Australia to become the ‘clever country’, and arguably did little to facilitate it, but the Howard government’s apalling neglect of the IT sector has ensured that we are now close to the bottom compared to OECD countries.

…analyst group Forrester Research recently…released a major study on “national innovation networks”, comparing 26 OECD countries in four areas of IT innovation – invention, transformation, financing and broking.

These are just the sorts of areas where a “clever country” should do well.

How do we rate?

The results are very disappointing, even depressing.

In invention, we rate 16th, ahead of giants such as Slovakia and Portugal, but way behind almost all Western European countries.

In transformation (the ability to turn inventions into products), we rate 23rd from 26, and in financing (the ability to pay for the process) a rather poor 21st.

The only Forrester category where we make the top 10 (at 10th place and way behind the leaders), is in “broking” – our ability to forge the links between the first three groups.

Pretty clever, huh?

Our clever country is mentioned in just one sentence: “Australia is a low-tech country with little to show in terms of leading-edge programs.”

Australians punch above their weight when it comes to innovation, be it in IT, solar technology, medical research, education, etc, etc, yet we continue to neglect our intellectual talent in favour of easy money to be had from dinosaur industries digging stuff up and chopping stuff down.

Imagine what might be possible if we had leaders with vision and imagination beyond taking a lazy commission. Good economic managers, my arse. And don’t even get me started on our ‘low fibre’ ‘fraudband’ fiasco.

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Filed under: Economics, Politics, Technology

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The Dog’s Bollocks

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