Victorian Budget: IT spend tops $100m

Although big ticket areas such as infrastructure, education and health received the lion's share of the Victorian Budget today, the IT industry will take some benefit with the technical spend totalling over $100 million.

Although big ticket areas such as infrastructure, education and health received the lion's share of the Victorian Budget today, the IT industry will take some benefit with the technical spend totalling over $100 million.

Education was a big winner, with the state spending $11.2 million to support operating costs of computers bought under the Federal Government's Digital Education Revolution. The state would also pay for 50 new workers to help teachers get the most out of the technology and it announced spending of $7 million to invest in additional computers.

Part of the $128 million set aside for school modernisation projects could also find its way into IT industry pockets as the state intended to spend some of it creating new ICT centres in schools.

TAFE was given the funding to commence an upgrade of administrative systems — starting with $66.9 million allocated towards a new student management system.

With so much infrastructure spending planned, the government also shelled out $10.4 million for a new online planning application process that is slated to slash red-tape associated with planning applications, make the permit process cheaper, reduce the cost of developments and assist councils and planning authorities to process permit applications more quickly.

The Victorian fires have also prompted a technology refresh for the emergency services. $57.1 million has been set aside for new radios and to provide upgrades to the radio network used in the field. $33.2 million will also be spent to upgrade the Department of Sustainability and Environment pagers and radios as well as to improve integration between fire agencies.

The Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority was also promised $55.2 million to improve its call capacity.

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