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Government launches trial online policy consultation

10 December, 2008
By Allison Orr

The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy has launched the Digital Economy Blog, which is the first in a series of trial online policy consultations.

The blog, which will be open for posts for two weeks, will canvass opinions on the digital economy and Australia’s digital future.  It is one of the first times the Australian Government has engaged with citizens on policy matters in this way, so, by their own admission, they "don’t expect this to run perfectly", and ask for participants to give feedback not just on the topic but also about how the blog should be run.

The blog will explore many themes on the digital economy, including the issue of filtering.  The trial welcomes some criticisms and negative comments as long as the posts are considered and on-topic.  The Government plans to develop a Future directions paper for the digital economy - a roadmap for Australian businesses, households and government to maximise participation in the digital economy.  Thoughts and ideas obtained from this blog will help to create this roadmap, which will be released early next year.

Says Lindsay Tanner, Minister for Finance and Deregulation, who jointly launched the trail policy consultations, in his first blog post, "We are also genuine about wanting to use online consultation to improve government-citizen relationships around public policy. We want real outcomes from online consultation, not a new channel to distribute a press release."

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