The spatial information industry has been confirmed as a major contributor to the Australian economy, generating revenue of $1.37 billion in 2006-07 and contributing between $6.4 and $12.6 billion to Gross Domestic Product, a new study by ACIL Tasman has revealed.
The independent study, to be released today at the WALIS International Forum, is the world’s first authoritative analysis on the economic impact of spatial information and demonstrates a higher than expected industry value. It was commissioned by the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information (CRCSI) with support from ANZLIC, Australia’s Spatial Information Council. It is based on analysis of 22 sectors of the Australian economy.
The study found that the spatial industry:
- increased household consumption by between $3.6 and $6.9 billion
- increased investment by between $1.8 and $3.7 billion
- had a positive impact on the balance of trade with exports increasing by up to $2.3 billion
- increased real wages by between 0.6% and 1.2%.
The study estimates that inefficient access to data reduces the direct productivity of some sectors by between 5% and 15%, and highlights the reasons for this.
The impact of spatial information on key sectors is demonstrated. These include agriculture, forestry and fisheries; mining and petroleum; property and business services; construction; transport and storage; utilities; communications; retail and trade; tourism; manufacturing; and local, state and federal government.
“The study confirms the enormous future potential from increased adoption of spatial information and from new applications across a wider range of industries,” said Peter Woodgate, Chief Executive Officer of CRCSI.
The CRCSI will draw on the ACIL Tasman study to develop a bid for further CRC Program funding over 2009-2016. The CRC will develop new technologies, methodologies and systems to provide tools for application and commercial exploitation by Australian industry.
“Those of us on the inside have always regarded spatial information as contributing greatly to the nation, be it from the early surveyors and explorers like Burke and Wills, to the spatial sciences and technologies that are enabling the nation today, “ said Warwick Watkins, Director General Department of Lands, Surveyor General of NSW, and Chair of ANZLIC.
“We have now captured the importance of spatial information in hard economic terms. This emphasises the critical importance of spatial information to Australia, its people, its environment and its economy.”