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Tech sector & Government back Australian businesses during COVID-19

24 March 2020

Joint media release with the Minister for Communications, Cyber Security and the Arts the Hon Paul Fletcher MP.

The Morrison Government welcomes the launch of a new website brought together by the technology sector to support Australian businesses with staff working remotely during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Australian Business Continuity—by the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) and its technology partners—provides free practical tools to support the continuity of Australia's small-to medium businesses, including advice on how to best use teleworking services.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, the Hon Karen Andrews MP, said the new site offers clear and targeted information to support businesses using alternative work arrangements and new technologies during this period.

'This is just another example of how our business community—in this case the tech sector—is stepping up to help other Australian SMEs navigate the unprecedented challenges of coronavirus,' Minister Andrews said.

'The new hub sees industry working together to keep our businesses running, with the AIIA partnering with Microsoft, Cisco, ServiceNow, Adobe, Telstra, Google, Facebook, SAP, Salesforce and others to provide guidance and free access to tools for video-conferencing, virtual meetings and other remote business services.

'Working remotely is foreign to many businesses but is now essential as they practice social distancing and I encourage all businesses to explore the new hub and see how it could help them make it to the other side of this outbreak.'

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said he was pleased to see the tech sector mobilising quickly to offer tangible support for Australian businesses so they can sustain the important work they do via teleworking, video conferencing and other remote working productivity platforms.

'Businesses are well placed to take advantage of remote working solutions with the National Broadband Network now 95 per cent complete, providing more than 11 million homes and businesses across Australia with access to fast, reliable and affordable broadband,' Minister Fletcher said.

'NBN Co has made 40 per cent more network capacity available to retail service providers at no through the network at high speed, which will underpin people's productivity and connectivity requirements as they shift their work habits in response to COVID-19.''

AIIA's new hub complements business.gov.au—the Government's existing comprehensive website for small to medium enterprises.

The website business.gov.au is a whole-of-Government digital entry point for information, services and support to help businesses succeed in Australia, simplifying access to important information, tools and advice across all levels of Government, particularly during this difficult time.

The Government's business hotline—13 28 46—has this week expanded its operation and is now taking calls from 7am to 9pm, 7 days per week. Additional agents, including dedicated specialists, have been added to the team to provide support on Government assistance to businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, including information on access to the stimulus package and assistance for employees.

Find out more at: www.australianbusinesscontinuity.com.au and www.business.gov.au.

Media contacts

Minister Andrews' office 02 6277 7070

Minister Fletcher's office 02 6277 7480