Spatially enabling Australian government has contributed $A6 billion-$12 billion to gross domestic product, according to a recent study by ACIL-Tasman, one of Australia’s largest economic consulting practices.
Those figures were quoted at the spatial information Govis mini-conference in Wellington last late month by keynote speaker Gary Nairn, formerly a special minister in the Howard government.
Nairn, who was also responsible for e-government, was behind the move a few years ago to spatially enable Australian government.
“E-government is fundamental to spatially enabled government,” he says.
“It’s produced significant savings for government.”
The savings were in areas such as environmental modelling, emergency response, infrastructure planning, social services and taxation assessment.
“Ninety per cent of government activities have a spatial element, 65% by legislation,” he told a standing-room-only audience.
Benefits in social services occurred by being able to track people’s addresses and thus minimise fraud and over-payments.
Taxation benefits came from producing real-time information as transactions happened and were lodged.
Nairn says its been recommended that the Australian government spend A$200 million over the next 10 years further enabling spatial information. He says it’s particularly important for the protection of critical infrastructure.
New Zealand has yet to undertake similar studies to measure such benefits, Nairn, a surveyor by profession, says.