Qld budgets extra $100M for IT&T

Queensland this week set aside about $100 million for IT&T initiatives in its record $16.8 billion state budget for 1999-2000.

The bulk of those funds - which don't include the normal IT operating budgets of individual departments - has been allocated to education and training.

Some $23 million will be spent on buying more PCs for Queensland classrooms, for example, while Technical and Further Education colleges will spend nearly $40 million on IT equipment.

The second largest slice of the pie, nearly $13 million, is earmarked for electronically delivering government services to the taxpayer's doorstep.

Minister for Communication and Information, Terry Mackenroth, said the money will fast track provision of government services through channels such as the internet.

Projects include:

Development of an Online Government Services Locator so people can search electronically for information on a complete range of government services.

Development of a public sector information architecture to set the framework for government IT&T investment and foster an integrated approach to electronic service delivery;Roll-out of the GovNet government-wide intranet and development of additional services for this facility such as secure electronic mail;Development of a whole of government electronic commerce model to allow for secure transactions on line between departments, agencies and the public;Introduction of a standard receipting system to enable customers to receive one simple receipt when they perform transactions on-line with public sector agencies and departments.

Research and development also received a hefty nod in the 1999-2000 budget.

The state promised to contribute $3 million this year for high performance computing (part of $10 million promised over three years) plus $3.8 million for biotechnology research.

Another $1.5 million will go to upgrade the technology in the state's higher courts while $1 million will be used to fund incubator facilities for young high tech companies.

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