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Keeping it in the family and online.

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SENATOR THE HON IAN CAMPBELL Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts Manager of Government Business in the Senate

Media Release

Keeping it in the Family and Online The ability to use the Internet is a great equaliser for small business, especially family businesses, Senator Ian Campbell, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts told the gathering at the Family Business Australia national conference in Queensland today.

'Family businesses can access bigger markets through the strategic use of the Internet and other online services,' said Senator Campbell.

'The Federal Government's world leading initiatives to bring Government online will bring huge benefits to family owned businesses.

'Interaction with Government will become quicker, cheaper and will take place when it suits you - not the bureaucrats.'

Senator Campbell said that the Australian Business Number (ABN) is enabled to give every business a high security digital signature.

'This will allow business to deal with the Australian Tax Office directly - and ultimately enable secure online business-to-business transactions,' said Senator Campbell.

'It is the biggest digital signature roll out worldwide.

'The Government's e-procurement strategy aims to transact 90 per cent of simple procurement transactions electronically by the end of the year.

'This provides a huge leg-up for SMEs and family businesses to compete on an equal footing with bigger firms for Government contracts.

'The e-commerce beyond 2000 report, commissioned by the National Office of the Information Economy, suggests that the cumulative impact of e-commerce on the Australian economy by 2007 will be equivalent to a 2.7 per cent increase

in GDP or around $15 billion.

'The value of IT to SMEs is also reflected in the recent Yellow Pages Small Business Index Survey of computer technology and e-commerce in Australian small and medium business .

The survey reported that 60 per cent of small businesses are connected to the Internet-almost double the level of two years ago, while 54 per cent of small business and 92 per cent of medium business are using email to communicate with customers and suppliers.

Senator Campbell reiterated that the Commonwealth Government is committed to having all appropriate services delivered online by 2001.

'Business is driving government online by demanding more efficient service and reduced compliance costs, and greater access to services at more convenient times and locations.

Senator Campbell said that the successful implementation of Government online will give more time back to families to concentrate on their core business and to live life.

More information about Government Online can be obtained at

Media Contact: Georgia-Kate Schubert, Senator Campbell's office 0419 265 234 Website and Webvideo at 4 August 2000

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