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South Australia to invest over AU$40m in IT infrastructure

South Australia's justice system, police force, and emergency services are set to receive core IT upgrades and assistance in the state's 2015-16 Budget.

The South Australian government has allocated millions of dollars across the state's IT infrastructure, with focus on its justice system, police force, and emergency services. Whilst IT expenditure is not as hefty as it was in the state's past two budgets, a large slice of allocated funds will see the completion of existing cloud-based system upgrades.

In his second Budget as treasurer, Tom Koutsantonis announced that over the next four years, the South Australian justice system has been given more than AU$24 million to spend on upgrading its IT and building infrastructure.

AU$23 million will be spent on a new electronic courts management system, which will manage the electronic flow of court documents and information, with the government citing an ageing IT infrastructure as currently causing delays for the court system.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions will also receive AU$2.2 million over the next two years to purchase and implement an electronic prosecutions management system.

Last year, the SA government allocated over AU$3 million to the Attorney-General's Department to upgrade IT systems involved in fine recovery, liquor licensing, and gambling. This year, the liquor and gambling IT system will receive an additional AU$150,000 to seal its completion by September 2015.

More than AU$14.4 million over the next few years has been allocated to the South Australian Police Force (SAPOL) in rolling out new technologies, with AU$7.4 million over five years to be spent on vehicle-based electronic tablets. With a trial of 350 rugged tablets already deemed a success by the department, the treasurer said that the tablets are part of a long-term mobility strategy, allowing the agility of using the device in-car as well as in the field.

"This investment will allow police to spend more time on the front line and less time travelling back to a police station to undertake data entry and paperwork behind a desk," he said.

"Ultimately, that means a more visible police presence and safer communities."

AU$5.9 million will be allocated over four years to provide front-line police with body-worn video devices, while AU$7 million has been allocated toward continuing the SAPOL records management system shift to the cloud. The rollout of the department's crime-tracking app and facial-recognition technology will receive a share of AU$1 million toward completing the respective projects.

The South Australian Country Fire Service is set to receive AU$2.8 million toward the replacement of telecommunications equipment, and the State Emergency Service to gain $387,000 to complete an update as well.