The Victorian Government digital innovation review Part B: The digital readiness of Victorian citizens




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The Victorian Government digital innovation review Part B: The digital readiness of Victorian citizens

For the Department of Business and Innovation, Victoria

28 September 2012

Prepared by
Craig Thomler
Managing Director
Delib Australia Pty Ltd

Contents


Contents 2

The digital readiness of Victorian citizens 3

Overview 3

Internet use 3

Regional internet use 4

Internet use – disabled and older people 5

Mobile use 8

Digital television and gaming 12

Digital television 12

Digital gaming 12

Social media 14

Facebook use 18

LinkedIn use 23

Twitter use 25



Other online use 25

Victorian citizen readiness to engage government online 28

Willingness to engage online 29

Citizen views of Victorian government websites 30

How connected are Victorians relative to other jurisdictions? 32

How Victoria ranks compared to other Australian state and territory jurisdictions 33



In summary 35


The digital readiness of Victorian citizens


As a foundation piece of background research to the VPS Digital Innovation review, this report investigates the receptiveness of Victorian citizens to digital channels and online engagement with government.

The report was undertaken by assessing recent public research and literature on Australian and Victorian use of online, mobile and other digital channels.


Overview


Australia is one of the most digitally connected nations in the world, with high rates of computer, internet and mobile use across the community.

Victoria, as Australia’s second largest state, reflects this level of connectivity and online activity and evidences a high level of interest in active engagement with government online.


Internet use


A
99 per cent of Victorians have accessed the internet, with 79 per cent of households having an internet connection.
ccording to the ABS, at the end of June 2011 there were 10.9 million Australian internet subscribers (excluding mobile handsets), with households representing 80 per cent of all broadband subscriptions.

Within Victorian, figures are reflective of the national average, with the ABS indicating that 79 per cent, approximately 1.684 million households, having a fixed internet connection, consistent with other large states.


Households with access to home computers and internet access 2010-111





Access to a computer at home (%)

Internet access at home (%)

No. with home internet access (‘000s)

Victoria

82

79

1,684

New South Wales

83

79

2,164

Queensland

83

79

1,347

South Australia

80

76

497

Western Australia

85

81

714

Tasmania

76

70

146

Northern Territory

82

79

51

Australian Capital Territory

91

88

122

National

83

79

6,724

Recent research has suggested that internet access is still growing.

Nielsen Online Ratings found in January 2012 that 81 per cent of Australians aged 16 years and above (14.7 million people), and 75 per cent of Australians aged two years and over (16.4 million people), could be classified as active internet users (having used the internet in the past month).2

S
Victoria has a regional digital divide with 81 per cent of Melbourne households, but only 60 per cent of Mallee households connected to the internet.
ensis’s 2012 Yellow™ Social Media Report reported in June 2012 that 98 per cent of Australians and 99 per cent of Victorians aged 14 and over had accessed the internet, including (nationally) 100% of people aged 14-39, 99 per cent of those aged 40-64 and 93 per cent of those aged 65+.3

Regional internet use


There is significant variation in internet access by geographic location, with a visible metro/regional divide. According to the ABS, 82 per cent of households in capital cities across Australia had internet access compared to 74 per cent of those elsewhere – an average variation of 8 per cent.

The variation was significant in Victoria. The ABS reported that while 81 per cent of Melbourne households had home internet access, the rest of the state averaged 72 per cent, falling to 60 per cent in the Mallee region.


Households with home internet access by Victorian statistical division 2010-114




% with internet access at home

No. (‘000s) with home internet access

Melbourne

81

1,247

Loddon

80

54

East Gippsland

80

20

Barwon

76

92

Western District

74

33

Ovens-Murray

72

26

Central Highlands

71

58

Goulburn

71

67

Gippsland

67

55

Wimmera

66

9

Mallee

60

23

Other states and territories also evidenced varying degrees of a regional internet access divide (refer to table on the following page), however Victoria’s maximum divide from Melbourne to Mallee (21 percentage points), was only exceeded by New South Wales (29 points) and South Australia (23 points).
Maximum capital/regional home internet access divide by state 2010-115




Maximum %
home internet access


Minimum %
home internet access


Divide (max. to min.) %

Victoria

81

(Melbourne)

60

(Mallee)

21

New South Wales

84

(Sydney)

55

(Far West)

29

Queensland

81

(Brisbane)

64

(South West)

17

South Australia

79

(Adelaide)

56

(Eyre)

23

Western Australia

83

(Perth)

66

(Upper Great Southern)

17

Tasmania

73

(Greater Hobart)

62

(Southern)

11

Northern Territory

82

(Darwin)

69

(Balance of NT)

13

Australian Capital Territory

88

(Canberra)

NA




0

Internet use – disabled and older people

A
Only 50 per cent of Victorians with a disability reported using the internet – ABS 2009
BS data from 2009 indicated that disabled people have lower levels of internet access than other Australians.


Disabled Victorians were particularly low users – less likely to use the internet than disabled people elsewhere throughout mainland Australia.

With 16 per cent of Victorians reporting a disability (ABS 2009), this is a sizeable group to consider.


Persons with a reported disability, internet use in the previous 12 months–20096




Used the internet at any location (%)

Total persons with a reported disability (‘000s)

Victoria

50

876

New South Wales

51

1,126

Queensland

56

670

South Australia

54

296

Western Australia

59

314

Tasmania

49

99

Northern Territory

62

23

Australian Capital Territory

71

49

National

53

3,451

O
Only 38 per cent of Victorians aged over 65 reported using the internet – ABS 2009
lder persons


Older persons (aged 65 or over) in Australia have also historically reported lower internet access rates.

ABS data indicated that older Victorian are less likely to use the internet than older residents of any other state or territory excluding Tasmania.

With 17 per cent of Victorians aged 65 or older (ABS 2009), this is also a sizeable group.

Older persons (aged 65 or older), internet use in the previous 12 months–20097




Used the internet at any location (%)

Total older persons
(‘000s)


Victoria

38

958

New South Wales

40

1,276

Queensland

45

719

South Australia

42

314

Western Australia

46

345

Tasmania

37

103

Northern Territory

57

17

Australian Capital Territory

61

51

National

41

3,873

There are indications that the use of the internet by older Victorians is growing.

COTA’s Older Victorians Online report indicated that the proportion of people aged 65 and over using the internet had almost doubled between 2007 to 2011 from 29.8 per cent to 56.7 per cent 8.

No comparative research is available for other states to indicate if this is a fast or slow rate of growth.

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