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Teleworking in Australia

September 20 2005 - A recent report indicates that almost a third of Australians have experience of telework.

The Australian Government established the Australian Telework Advisory Committee (ATAC) earlier this year to examine what is driving telework in Australia, and what impediments there might be.

"I am very pleased with the progress ATAC has made. The committee has been consulting with stakeholders throughout Australia and is due to report in February next year," said Senator Helen Coonan, Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts.

"As a first step, the Sensis report makes some interesting findings. The survey maps how many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across Australia utilise teleworking and found that 30 per cent of Australians have teleworked and more than a third of SMEs use teleworking.

"Iím pleased to say that teleworking has had an overwhelmingly positive impact with 73 per cent of businesses indicating it had clear benefits and allowed greater work-and-life balance for their employees."

Telework was defined for this survey as:

' Work that an individual does away from their normal place of business, during their working hours, using some form of information and communications technology.'

"Sensis reported positive impacts such as flexibility and convenience, while small and medium business owners liked being able to access information from anywhere and saving time," Senator Coonan said.

"SMEs who use teleworking record consistently higher sales and profits, and greater confidence, than their non-teleworking counterparts. The report also shows that 52 per cent of businesses with broadband access used teleworking, compared to 23 per cent of those without broadband.

"The release of new figures from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission this week show take-up of broadband in Australia continues to grow exponentially," Senator Coonan said.

Over the last 12 months alone more than 1.1 million subscribers have signed up to broadband, an increase of 108.3 per cent. The take-up of ADSL services is now at 1,579,500 and there are 2,183,300 broadband subscribers in Australia in total.

"With new, targeted Government investment of $878 million coming on stream in the next few months we can expect to see broadband take-up and teleworking continuing to grow," Senator Coonan said.

"The Insights report into teleworking is available on the DCITA website www.dcita.gov.au.



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