Hendy Cowan

Hendy Cowan


    New Government booklet offers free passage to information age

    25/10/2000 3:11 PM

    At last …. a publication that cuts through the techno babble and gives you basic information about computers and the Internet in plain language. And it’s free!

    Titled ‘Get Online WA’, the booklet is pitched at the general public and is valuable reading for any individual or organisation going online, according to Commerce and Trade Minister Hendy Cowan.

    “Most people know about the information age and the Internet, but many are still grappling with the nitty gritty of how it is applied in their life, the business or community,” Mr Cowan said.

    “Confusion can be intensified by the fact that children today are jumping into the cyber age with no problem at all. This book will help - a compact yet comprehensive publication that answers all the questions you might have thought too silly to ask, and then more.”

    At today’s launch in the Wheatbelt town of Quairading, Mr Cowan said the 44-page booklet provided a good grounding in issues ranging from learning the language of the Internet and figuring out its many uses, through to understanding E-commerce, supervising children online, security fears and buying equipment to get on the Internet.

    “The reader is guided through the world of URLs, IRCs, EDIs and the rest of the Internet maze - usually the domain of the E-generation and technology whizzes,” Mr Cowan said.

    The booklet was produced by the Office of Information and Communications (OIC) in the Department of Commerce and Trade as part of the State Government’s strategy to ensure Western Australians learn about the online environment and gain maximum benefits.

    Feedback to the OIC showed many people felt left behind in the whirl of the information age and were looking for basic information and guidance, Mr Cowan said.

    A free copy of the booklet can be obtained by calling the Department of Commerce and Trade’s free call number on
    1800 199 251.

    Mr Cowan said the ‘Get Online WA’ booklet was one of a number of tools being used by the State Government to demystify the online world.

    Some of the other initiatives include conducting ‘e-commerce awareness’ seminars across the State, the creation of WA Online Communities and the development of a network of business and community mentors to assist those wanting to make the transition into the information age.

    Mr Cowan said community mentors, known as OnlineWA Champions, were a particularly exciting initiative. The Champions were regional people with an interest in the information age who volunteered to help ‘spread the message’ and raise awareness and understanding in regional areas.

    Around 200 Champions will be appointed over the next six months and Mr Cowan today released a special kit to assist them in their work, an important part of the State Government’s commitment to Building Stronger Communities.

    The OnlineWA Champions Kit includes up-to-date and easy-to-read information on all aspects of the Information Age; tips on e-commerce and how it can be used by businesses; and a rundown of current projects in WA and what the State Government is doing. There is also marketing information such as speech notes, a media pack and advice on how to be invited to be a speaker.

    Media contact:
    Peter Jackson (Minister’s office) 9222 9595
    David Brewtnall (Commerce and Trade Dept) 9327-5666