Budget holds little for IT

The IT industries will find relatively little to praise and some things to condemn in this year's Federal Budget.

The industry was looking for extra funding for university places and easing of capital gains tax to foster its future growth. It also wanted R&D funding to be restored to 150 per cent.

What it has got is an extra $82 million for the CSIRO over the next three years, $5.8 million to universities to form strategic partnerships with industry research and training and a four-year program targeted at small- to medium-size enterprises for pooled development funds. The most significant measure will allow super funds and overseas pension funds to own 100 per cent of a pooled development fund, after previously being restricted to just 30 per cent.

The government has also committed $50 million to set up CrimTrack, its Australia-wide DNA and criminal register.

But in measures which will be seen as detrimental to the IT&T industries the government has also allocated $7 million to the Australian Broadcasting Authority to implement its new regulatory framework for online content, a measure which has infuriated Internet service providers.

And while the IT&T industries cry out for funding the government has allocated $20.6 million over the next four years to a new Printing Industry Competitiveness Scheme. It says the scheme is designed to develop a stronger, sustainable printing industry by addressing the negative assistance faced by book printers as a result of paying duty on paper inputs.

There's also $78 million for a Quality Teacher Program to help teachers focus on professional development in literacy, numeracy, mathematics, science, information technology and vocational education.

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