North Sydney named Australia’s savviest ‘eTown’

Google has today announced the winner of its national eTown Award – an award celebrating the cities and regions which best use the web to connect with customers and grow their business.

North Sydney was named the eTown for 2013, with Federal Treasurer and Member for North Sydney Joe Hockey present to congratulate the council and local businesses.

Hockey said he was proud of his electorate, and that North Sydney is known for embracing change and new technology.

“Whether it be the small business down the road, or a business as large as Qantas, we are facing a rapidly changing world – and we cannot allow ourselves to be inert victims, we must move with the times,” Hockey said. “The fact that we’re here celebrating something that would have been inconceivable, even 20 years ago – says it all.”

Hockey also told the packed room that the Government is committed to empowering business in Australia to embrace technology and change. He cited the addition of the small business portfolio into cabinet, and the appointment of the Minister for Small Business, Bruce Billson, as evidence of this commitment.

Hockey also said the Government intends to roll out initiatives over the coming months which will reduce the “regulatory burden on small business”, though the Treasurer failed to expand on exactly what these initiatives would be, and when they would be announced.

Google Managing Director for Australia, Maile Carnegie was also present at this morning’s announcement, and said Google was pleased to align itself with supporting small business.

“Individual small businesses and business people are not just an important economic engine for the economy, they are increasingly the backbone of our local communities,” Carnegie said.

The small business sector employs more than 5 million people, and generates more than $500bn in revenue – a third of Australia’s economic activity.

“So it’s really, really important that this engine room is cranking,” Carnegie added.

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