The Peak Industry Body for the Information, Communication and Technology Sector has praised the Government for funding a raft of ICT projects in the 2021-22 Tasmanian Budget.
TasICT Chief Executive Officer Steve Adermann believes the Government’s $145m investment into digital infrastructure and service delivery, including funding for the $8.5m package of initiatives announced at the recent state election, demonstrates the Government is prepared to listen to industry advice and back projects which connect the community with Government services. Further, enhanced funding for digital inclusion measures ensure that Tasmanians who can’t or won’t adopt technology aren’t left behind.
Project Springboard is a joint initiative involving TasICT, Skills Tasmania and the Department of State Growth, which creates pathways to employment in the ICT industry. Following a successful pilot programme, the Government will fund an expansion of Project Springboard and allow the number of participants to double. The $100k allocation is included in the $2.18m commitment to support skills development.
Mr Adermann said, “TasICT has been pushing for a digital service platform to give Tasmanians online access to Government services with digital identification, and the $4.3m investment announced in the Budget to develop a Service Tasmania digital portal is a great start. The large number of people who are expected to embrace the online services will potentially free up Service Tasmania resources to ensure other Tasmanians aren’t left behind in a digital divide”. He said “TasICT also continues to represent its members by working with Minister Ferguson’s department to address issues with the procurement of Government contracts and ensuring local ICT businesses are given priority”.
Pleasingly, the Budget also continues the Government’s digital transformation journey with an $84.4 investment for the Digital Transformation Priority Expenditure Programme. Targeted investments to uplift agencies such as Health are particularly noted, including $21m to improve Human Resources systems & $15m to progress the 10-year Digital Health Transformation Plan.
Mr Adermann added “There are many more areas where technology can help the growth of the Tasmanian economy and keep it ahead of other states. Initiatives involving cyber security, workforce development, export opportunities and digital inclusion are part of the industry roadmap, and with the Government and industry working in unison, TasICT is optimistic technology will continue to offer the solutions and transformation required”.