The Queensland Government is calling for comment on its Communication and Information Strategic Plan that will inject tens of millions of dollars into the IT industry over the next five years.
The State Government aims to consolidate existing IT companies and attract new talent. The proposed explores the viability of offering IT businesses premises, infrastructure, management and marketing advice, partnering arrangements and tax relief. The idea of the assistance program is to create an environment that allows new products and services to be developed and adopted firstly into the Government's own agencies then into the wider market, what the report coins a "buy not build" strategy. The report concludes this will attract service providers to Queensland and will use Government demand to support certain IT businesses.
The submission addresses contemporary issues facing the IT industry such as the global skills shortage, with the Government proposing that it and the private sector increase IT education facilities. The report suggests that current skills programs be reviewed and that Government agencies organise a skills register. It also encourages a review of the graduate program to determine the funding and focus of IT courses. The Government's information services business, CITEC, will be involved in this process with the development of business expansion and graduate programs.
The emerging focus on the Internet is another concern and a strategy on how to connect businesses, and the community at large, is incorporated into the initiative. There are plans to improve the telecommunications infrastructure across the state to facilitate overall Internet access.
The program, launched by Information and Communications Minister Terry Mackenroth last week, is open for comment from the IT industry and the general community at http://www.dcilgp.qld.gov.au/index_corporate.html?content=/comminfo/spcontents.htm