COVID-19 has caused significant disruption across the country in 2020, but the well-established digitisation of Australia’s property exchange has provided great resilience to the market, ensuring settlements continue to occur seamlessly.
More than 75% of all property transactions are processed online via PEXA – uninterrupted by the pandemic throughout the year.
This has kept Australia’s $7.1 trillion residential property market mobile despite the challenging circumstances, maintaining vital economic activity and ensuring the key service of buying and selling homes has remained active for Australians.
And in a move which will help encourage similar outcomes, the Federal Government has announced it is investing just under $800 million in the 2020-21 Federal Budget, enabling businesses to take advantage of technologies to grow and create jobs.
In a press release distributed by Prime Minister, Scott Morrison and Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, the government explained that COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital resources by Australian businesses and consumers.
This has enabled many to transform their operations and continue to trade through the crisis.
“Many businesses moved online quickly when the pandemic hit, undergoing a decade of change in months, finding new customers or new ways of doing things.
“Our JobMaker Digital Business Plan provides significant backing to continue that digital push and expand opportunities for businesses to grow and create more jobs,” the Prime Minister said.
The full budget includes:
- $256.6 million to develop a Digital Identity system to enable more secure and convenient engagement with government services, and in future, the private sector. Digital identity is already being used by over 1.6 million Australians and 1.16 million businesses to access over 70 government services.
- A further $419.9 million to enable the full implementation of the Modernising Business Registers (MBR) program, allowing businesses to quickly view, update and maintain their business registry data in one location;
- A further $28.5 million to support the rollout of the Consumer Data Right to the banking and energy sectors, which is in addition to the more than $120 million already committed;
- $29.2 million to accelerate the rollout of 5G, including an initiative to invest in 5G commercial trials and testbeds in key industry sectors such as agriculture, mining, logistics and manufacturing.
- $22.2 million to support small business operators take advantage of digital technologies through an expansion of the Australian Small Business Advisory Service – Digital Solutions program, a Digital Readiness Assessment tool and a Digital Directors training package;
- $11.4 million for a new regulatory technology commercialisation initiative to improve compliance and directly support our digital technology firms;
- $9.6 million to support fintechs to export financial services and attract inward investment;
- $6.9 million for two blockchain pilots directed at reducing business compliance costs;
- $5.9 million to boost Australia’s influence on international standards;
- $3.6 million towards mandating the adoption of electronic invoicing by 1 July 2022 for all Commonwealth government agencies to encourage greater adoption amongst businesses supplying to government and within their supply chains, and to consult on options for mandatory adoption of e-invoicing by businesses;
- $2.5 million to connect workers and small and medium sized businesses to digital skills training;
- Consulting on making permanent the temporary reforms to allow companies to hold virtual meetings and execute documents electronically;
- Reviewing the regulatory architecture applying to the payments system to ensure it remains fit for purpose and is capable of supporting continued innovation for the benefit both businesses and consumers; and
- Reforming the regulation around stored-value facilities to support innovation and competition in line with the recommendations of the Council of Financial Regulators.