Study suggests spatial industry worth billions in Australia

Study suggests spatial industry worth billions in Australia

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Canberra, Australia, October 31, 2007: A new economic report, Spatially Enabling Australia, the first of its kind for the spatial information sector, delivers proof that the spatial information industry is worth billions to the Australian economy, according to leading economic consultancy, ACIL Tasman.

“Spatial information and technology has a clear and verifiable impact on just about every industry and government activity in the country,” says Alan Smart, ACIL Tasman’s Marketing Director. The Australian Spatial Information Business Association (ASIBA), who commissioned ACIL Tasman to conduct the study into spatial information and technologies (SIandT), released the report recently.

“One of the study’s most important findings is that SI&T has increased the Gross Domestic Product by some USD 6 to 12 billion,” said ASIBA’s chairman, Michael Easton. “It’s clear that this industry improves productivity across nearly all of the nation’s business,” he said.

According to Easton, the Report is a powerful statement that supports the industry’s push for investment in the SI&T sector and specifically in education and skills formation.
“It also recommends that governments invest in an Australian Spatial Data Infrastructure (ASDI) and adopt nationally consistent standards and interoperability mechanisms,” he said.

The ASIBA-commissioned Report explores a range of sector-specific case studies demonstrating SIandT’s impact on the national economy. It also identifies constraints on the industry, such as skills shortage, privacy, data pricing and property rights, as well as a general unawareness about SIandTs diverse potential.

The global opportunities created for innovative Australian companies to develop new SIandT products and applications from Australian research and development are also likely to be very significant. The Report states that “The success of the spatial information industry is likely to be critical to maintaining international competitiveness for Australia in most sectors.”