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Published: 23 January 2012

First national Telework Week promises less commuter pollution

The Australian Government wants more employers and employees to reap the environmental, economic and social benefits of telework according to the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy.

Teleworking can help reduce pollution associated with commuting, as well as offer economic and work-life balance benefits.
Credit: Nyul/iStockphoto

Senator Conroy recently announced the staging of Australia’s first National Telework Week in November.

‘These benefits include cost-savings and productivity gains, increased workforce flexibility, expanded supply of skilled labour, reduced impact on the environment, reduced stress from traffic congestion and increased time available to spend with family and the community,’ he said.

‘The rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) is the game changer that will make this an everyday reality for Australians wherever they live.’

‘The NBN will allow Australians to interact more easily from home with their workplaces and with clients through high-definition multi-party video conferencing. They will be able to quickly transfer large files and use real-time collaborative business tools.

‘Australia currently lags well behind the leading nations for telework rates and the Government, in our Digital Economy Strategy, has set a goal to double Australia’s telework rate by 2020.

‘Cultural barriers by employees and employers are some of the factors contributing to our poor telework rates, so it is important to address those through education and awareness of telework’s benefits.’

Partners in National Telework Week include the Australian Human Resources Institute, Australian Industry Group (AIG), Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), the Australian Network for Disability and the Local Government Managers Australia.

Cisco, the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Unity4, Telstra, Blackberry, Polycom, Infrastructure Australia and the Green Building Council of Australia have also agreed to become partners.

Broadband Champion, Jon Dee, Managing Director of advocacy group Do Something!, said teleworking could have a tangible benefit on the environment, particularly air quality.

‘I look forward to more teleworking reducing traffic pollution in Australia’s major cities. Fewer cars commuting daily will bring a range of environmental and health benefits as well as reduce the economic cost of congestion,’ he said.

Organisations interested in partnering with the Australian Government to promote telework are encouraged to make contact via or visit the website. Discussion on Twitter will use the hashtag #telework2020.

Source: Ministerial media release

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