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Victoria ICT gets $AU85 million in stimulus

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The ICT sector in Victoria has been given an $AU85 million boost from the Victorian Coalition state government.

The stimulus plan aims to develop, support and promote ICT-enabled innovation across the economy.

Victorian Minister for Technology Gordon Rich-Phillips said "the ICT plan will support the sector in overcoming current and future challenges, while promoting ICT-enabled innovation more broadly across Victorian industry and generating opportunities from technology convergence."

Currently Victoria’s ICT sector employs around 87,000 people and generates annual revenues of around $AU29 billion.

A core plank of the plan is an $AU11 million Digital Futures Fund which supports collaborative projects in the ICT sector and with other partners to develop emerging ICT capabilities in Victoria. Support for export ready companies will come from a Technology Trade and International Partnering Program which will provide assistance for Victorian companies to attend recognised overseas ICT trade fairs and participate in trade missions.

An $AU18 million Broadband Enabled-Innovation Program will provide grants to projects to develop new ways of working and improving service delivery in business, government and the community through the use of high-capacity broadband.

The fund also includes an investment of around $AU2 million in a suite of ICT skills initiatives, in partnership with industry and the education sector.

Australian Information Industry Association Victoria Chair Russell Yardley said "we have the research capacity, skills base and digital-ready companies to innovate and collaborate to maximise the economic value necessary to provide a higher standard of living for all Victorians. This plan with its strong focus on capability development and ICT-enabled innovation will benefit all Victorians, but importantly the ICT industry in Victoria."

The Victorian government recently had to restructure its IT purchasing arrangements, following an outcry from resellers and suppliers. After slashing dozens of companies from its purchasing panel, the government backflipped and created a new panel of 350-plus companies. ®

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