2009-10 will be a tight year for Government ICT in Queensland, observed Intermedium’s Head of Consulting Kevin Noonan, “but now is the time to lay the groundwork for the anticipated recovery in 2010-11”.
Intermedium’s first Queensland briefing and analysis of the recent State Budget was held in Brisbane on Friday, 26 June.
An audience of more than 80 industry and government representatives heard Kevin Noonan (Head of Consulting, Intermedium) and Peter Grant (former Queensland GCIO and Microsoft Queensland State Manager) provide a detailed overview of the budget context, and specific ICT opportunities arising.
In government, timing is everything, Noonan observed. Broadly, government budgets follow predictable trends that correlate closely with electoral cycles. The Queensland Government has a strong mandate following its recent electoral success, and a new Premier. This is the time to take tough decisions. The current budget anticipates significant savings through asset sales and cancellation of the fuel subsidy. Government ICT has not escaped with expectations of significant cost efficiencies.
Both Federal and Queensland governments have listed infrastructure as the centerpiece of their budgets. However there are subtle but important differences between these budget strategies.
The Federal budget now sees ICT as a key underlying infrastructure and driver for change in the 21st century, not just as a savings measure. Investment examples include the Government’s National Broadband Network and Gershon’s Reinvestment Fund.
Queensland’s Budget centerpiece sees $18.2 billion allocated to infrastructure, much of it in traditional areas such as transport and housing. This additional spending and other public sector growth is likely to deliver some consequential opportunities for ICT companies.
At an agency level, most agencies will hold their own in 2009-10, or receive increased allocations compared with the previous financial year.