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Communications technologies a priority in $3.5bn NSW Police and Emergency Services Super department budget

by Staff Writers •
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The Rees Government has committed $3.5bn to the newly formed NSW Police and Emergency Services department as part of the 2009-10 NSW Budget, with a record $2.6bn outlined for the NSW Police Force.  This includes $100m in ICT Capital Expenditure, much of which is dedicated to communications technologies, including radio.

The department, an amalgamation of the NSW Police Force, Fire Brigades, Rural Fire Service, State Emergency Service, Office of Emergency Service and the Crime Commission, is one of the 13 new “Super Departments” that came into effect on the 1st of July as part of the Rees Government’s structural reform of the public sector.

As a result of the amalgamation, it now has a staff of over 112,000, and is one of the largest of the 13 new super departments, with 16,000 of its workforce belonging to the NSW Police Force and over 70,000 acting as volunteers for its various sub-agencies.  This implies a significant focus on communications technologies for the new agency, especially in the light of the intense focus on bushfire emergency services following the devastating bushfires February 2009 in Victoria.  

The NSW Police Force is the largest of the super department’s constituent agencies both in terms of budget and paid workforce.  NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione serves as the Director-General of the Department, a further and rapid step up for the career policeman, following his promotion to the role of Commissioner in September 2007.

The NSW budget papers, which were released last month, outline the Government’s $100m commitment to the NSW Police Force for the upgrading of technology and equipment.  The focus on communications technologies runs throughout the approved budget allocations with funds being apportioned to "various technology projects, including the upgrade of radio equipment and other communications infrastructure". 

Key communications investments in Police ICT projects include $13.1m for radio networks and communications infrastructure capital upgrades, and $3.1m for the establishment of a Closed Circuit TV Database.

$12.5m has been apportioned for recurrent costs such as software and salaries associated with capital works for radio networks and communications infrastructure upgrades.

Other significant outlays detailed in the papers include a $11.9m investment in the ICT functions of the NSW Rural Fire Service, part of which will be spent on "information technology, station communications equipment and other minor plant and equipment." Intermedium has produced a 41 page Agency Profile on NSW Police and Emergency Services.  For more information, contact sales or phone on 02 9955 9896.

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  • NSW
  • Policy
  • Andrew Scipione
  • Communications Technologies
  • NSW Emergency Services
  • NSW Police
  • Rees Government