A $50 million computerised train system has emerged as the key ICT project to be funded in South Australia’s 2011-12 Budget – despite a $263 million budget deficit.
The development of the $50 million modern computerised train safety system will provide updates on the status of the rail line and signals ahead and calculate safe speeds. The project will be allocated $35 million over the next four years as part of the ‘A Modern Transport System for South Australia’ initiative.
As with other 2011-12 Budgets, the innovative use of IT in the health and education sectors was a key focus in South Australia. Also funded was a government-wide transition to shared services.
EHealth received $19.3 million from the $4.7 billion health budget, to go towards supporting digital screening services at Breast Screen SA. Replacing analogue with digital technology will increase the number of women who can be screened by three thousand to over 76,000 in 2011-12.
To maintain emphasis on high-technology facilities, $7.8 million from a $2.66 billion education budget will go towards the establishment of a staff and student portal, a managed email service, managed web access, personal storage space and school directories.
Treasurer Jack Snelling acknowledged the need for continued investment in educational IT.
“Today’s students are part of a world of learning that stretches far beyond the school gate and this new system will connect students and their teachers to the world,” he said.
The capacity of ICT to generate significant savings in government has also been recognised in the Budget, with $10.5 million provided to transition the IT services of individual agencies to Shared Services SA. Such a move is expected to result in savings of $1 million in 2013-14, $3 million in 2014-15 and $6 million each year from 2015-16.
Investment in IT will also be central to the ‘A Stronger and More Responsive Justice System’ initiative. $1.8 million will be provided to upgrade security infrastructure in prisons across SA, including the development of biometric identification systems. New cabling will be provided to Mobilong Prison to facilitate the introduction of digital electronic security technology, with selected prisons to also receive mobile phone detection technology.
This year, Intermedium will produce the first South Australian edition of the Budget IT prospecting tool, which will provide a searchable and filterable database for every ICT allocations in the 2011-12 Budget. For more information, contact Intermedium.