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seventh Ministerial meeting of the Online Council - agree to W3C standards (fwd)

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 2 Jul 2000 18:56:40 -0400 (EDT)
To: WAI EO <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.20.0007021855160.27770-100000@tux.w3.org>
With thanks to Peter Batchelor

Charles McCathieNevile    mailto:charles@w3.org    phone: +61 (0) 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative                      http://www.w3.org/WAI
Location: I-cubed, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton VIC 3053
Postal: GPO Box 2476V, Melbourne 3001,  Australia 

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Taken from http://www.dcita.gov.au/cgi-bin/graphics.pl?path=5092
Ministers from the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments met in
Adelaide today for the seventh Ministerial meeting of the Online Council.
Friday 30 June 2000

Governments were represented by:

Commonwealth Senator the Hon Richard Alston (chair of Council)  Minister for
Communications, Information Technology and the Arts
Senator the Hon Ian Campbell  Parliamentary Secretary to Senator Alston
South Australia  The Hon Dr Michael Armitage MBBS, MP Minister for
Government Enterprises and Minister for Information Economy
New South Wales  The Hon Kim Yeadon MLA Minister for Information Technology,
Minister for Energy, Minister for Forestry, and Minister for Western Sydney
Victoria  The Hon Marsha Thomson MLA Minister for Small Business, Minister
for Consumer Affairs
Western Australia The Hon Hendy Cowan MLA Deputy Premier Minister for
Commerce and Trade; Regional Development; Small Business
Northern Territory The Hon Dr Richard Lim MLA
Queensland Mr Michael Cook General Manager, Department of Communications and
Information, Local Government and Planning
Australian Capital Territory Ms Roslyn Hughes Senior Director, ACT Chief
Minister's Department
Tasmania Ms Maria Jeffries Project Manager, Department of Premier and
Cabinet (observer)
ALGA Cr John Ross President, Australian Local Government Association

The meeting provided an important opportunity for governments to work
cooperatively, and develop national approaches to assist communities
participate in the burgeoning information economy.

<snip />

The Council agreed to the adoption of the World Wide Web Consortium's Web
Content Accessibility Guidelines as the common best practice standard for
all Australian government websites. This decision should ensure that people
with disabilities or technical constraints can use online resources provided
by Australian governments. The Guidelines are widely recognised
internationally, and have the support of Australia's Human Rights and Equal
Opportunity Commission, disability groups and rural groups.

Adoption of common standards by all Australian governments will promote the
confidence of users in online services, and the accessibility of online
government information and services. The guidelines set out ways to present
information which will enhance access, for example, by providing website
material on a text only basis to facilitate the use of screen readers by
those with visual impairments, and reducing the use of graphics to enhance
download times.

Affordable access to telecommunications by all Australians is a high
priority for all Australian governments. The Council's Regional
Telecommunications Working Group has focused on improving coordination
between the three tiers of government, and has worked jointly on key
projects. The Council supported the Working Group's proposal to conduct a
series of case studies around Australia and overseas, and to develop a
regional telecommunications models toolkit.

The toolkit will contain practical information to assist regional and rural
organisations improve access to telecommunications services for their
communities. The information will be widely disseminated to regional
communities, to enable a much broader appreciation among regional decision
makers of the opportunities offered by these new telecommunications models,
and the issues associated with their implementation.

The Council also supported the decisions to tender for untimed local calls
and untimed Internet access in extended zones, and the proposed USO
contestability trials.

<snip to end />

Peter Batchelor
Research and Technology Division
Received on Sunday, 2 July 2000 18:56:42 UTC

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