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Government releases recovery-based budget

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) welcomes the 2009-10 Federal Budget, delivered within a framework of economic recovery. The Budget provides a series of opportunities for the ICT industry, particularly through research, education and the innovation agenda delivered through the Powering Ideas initiative.
  • 13 May, 2009 14:43

<p>Wednesday, 13 May 2009</p>
<p>The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) welcomes the 2009-10 Federal Budget, delivered within a framework of economic recovery. The Budget provides a series of opportunities for the ICT industry, particularly through research, education and the innovation agenda delivered through the Powering Ideas initiative.</p>
<p>"ICT has the capability to deliver the outcomes sought through this Budget, and we can see opportunities for the technology industry to make a strong contribution to financial recovery and the development of a smarter economy in Australia," said AIIA CEO Ian Birks.</p>
<p>“AIIA welcomes ongoing investments in the National Broadband Network and the strong commitments the Government has made to this essential building block in Australia’s infrastructure.”</p>
<p>AIIA also commended the Australian Government for being able to achieve a 25 per cent increase in new funding for science, education and innovation since 2001. The Association has identified a number of ICT measures in this Budget, but considers the real benefit to be the opportunity for ICT to play an integral role in the delivery of many of the core initiatives outlined in this Budget.</p>
<p>Direct measures relating to the ICT industry that AIIA has singled out are:</p>
<p>· The Government’s continued commitment towards investing in the National Broadband Network and its commitment towards rural and regional communities.</p>
<p>· The $100 million investment in smart grid technology that will deliver greater energy efficiency. The AIIA is a strong proponent of smart technology infrastructures as they are the key platform underpinning Australia’s economic recovery.</p>
<p>· Tax concessions for small business investments in tangible equipment increasing from 30 to 50 percent (sustained until the end of December 2009). While the AIIA sees this as a positive outcome, it is disappointed that software, as an intangible, remains excluded from these concessions.</p>
<p>· The $10 million allocated to a new program designed to put small business online which will assist small businesses in taking advantage of the opportunities available through the rollout of the new National Broadband Network. The AIIA welcomes this move and is keen to work with government and the small business sector to ensure the program is successful.</p>
<p>AIIA sees the ICT industry will have the opportunity to contribute indirectly to a number of initiatives in other areas of the Budget. These include:</p>
<p>· The announcement of a Commonwealth Commercialisation Institute which is a positive signal for the technology industry. While the details are still to be delivered, the AIIA is confident the Institute will bridge the gap between smart ideas and the commercialisation of ICT in the marketplace. The AIIA has signalled its interest in being involved in the Institute with Minister Carr's Department and is negotiating further details on behalf of the technology sector.</p>
<p>· The Budget calls for substantial reforms in ICT procurement across several agencies with the Defence being the key agency singled out. AIIA supports all efforts to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of ICT procurement in the public sector.</p>
<p>· An extra $50 million in a one-off funding for the Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) scheme, an important initiative for all Australian members. AIIA has called for access to this grant scheme to be simplified for companies to gain access to this additional funding.</p>
<p>· The development of a coordinated approach to Commonwealth information management and innovation along with the appointment of an Information Commissioner.</p>
<p>Innovative technology solutions will assist the Government to deliver advances in many of the areas identified as priorities for Australia as the nation positions itself for economic recovery. AIIA and the Australian ICT industry will work closely with Government towards the effective delivery of these outcomes.</p>
<p>Note to Editor:</p>
<p>AIIA CEO is available for comment on the 2009-10 Federal Budget.</p>
<p>For more information or interview opportunities, please contact:</p>
<p>Rhett Somers</p>
<p>Australian Information Industry Association</p>
<p>Ph: 02 6281 9400</p>
<p>Gabriel Wong</p>
<p>Max Australia</p>
<p>Ph: 02 9954 3492</p>

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