The Tasmanian State Government has outlined a variety of technology-related initiatives in its budget today, including funding for e-health, policing and digital marketing projects.
Health Minister Lara Giddings said the state had allocated $12.9 million over the next three years, including $5.3 million in the 2009/2010 financial year, to upgrade IT systems in health facilities. Medical imaging systems will get $3.7 million; $1.2 million for a new mental health services electronic client management and reporting system; and $3 million for a patient administration system.
"These projects will improve clinical capacity by providing doctors and nurses with instant bedside access to information, as well as enabling improved online transfer of clinical data between hospitals to assist diagnosis and treatment," Giddings said in a statement.
Police Minister Jim Cox said the state would spend $1.1 million fitting the state's police vehicles with GPS tracking devices to boost officer safety and improve incident responses.
"This technology will have massive benefits for increasing the safety of front-line police, with information on the exact location of the vehicles fitted with the devices displayed in real-time on a computer screen in Police Dispatch," Cox said in a statement. "In a critical or dangerous incident, Police Dispatch will know instantly and accurately where a police vehicle is located."
Tasmania Police would also invest in a broad new IT foundation platform in 2009/2010 through which it would develop, deploy and manage its internal software applications over the next six years.
"Called IT15, this is an agency-wide business systems modernisation, rationalisation and consolidation project aimed at developing an industry standard IT architecture designed to support future policing applications," Cox said.
Tasmania Police was also currently installing an automatic call distributor system, according to Cox, which would improve the operation of its radio dispatch system.
Meanwhile, Tourism Tasmania will receive $500,000 to support its digital marketing strategy and to improve the discovertasmania.com website, including the provision of digital audio and video content, rich internet applications, online community groups, banner advertisements and search engine marketing.
Allocation of funding for some ICT initiatives within the Department of Treasury and Cabinet also grew. The department received an extra $1.5 million (for a total of $21.8 million in 2009-10) towards management of the whole-of-government TASINET and Networking Tasmania telecommunications contracts, and information systems management costs are to grow by $1.3 million (for a total of $6.0 million in 2009-2010).
These contracts are administered by TMD, a division of the department that manages technology contracts and other associated matters.
However, the department had funding related to the development and implementation of ICT policy cut by $458,000 (for a total of $2.52 million in the 2009-10 year). The decrease, according to budget documents, reflected the cessation of funding provided last year for the implementation of what the documents described as the government's IT transformation.