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50 million to boost Tasmania's ICT Sector

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29 Apr 2011

The Tasmanian ICT Centre will be extended for a further five years from 2011-12 through a $50 million package to help Tasmania build the skills and tools needed to benefit from the digital age.

The Gillard Labor Government is investing $40 million in vital research into enabling technologies that will help Tasmania exploit the enormous benefits of the National Broadband Network (NBN).

Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr today announced continuing funding for Tasmania’s ICT Centre to support research that will help transform everyday life.

"I want to acknowledge the support for this Government of the Member for Denison, Mr Andrew Wilkie MP," Senator Carr said.

"The Labor government’s approach is simple. We are in the business of good policy outcomes. We will work with those who will share and support that mission."

After discussions with local independent Andrew Wilkie, the Federal Government will directly commit $20 million of new money over five years - to be matched by the CSIRO - to continue the Centre’s groundbreaking work.

The Tasmanian Government will contribute a further $5 million, including $1.2 million from the Intelligent Island program, which is to be directed to this project under agreement with the Commonwealth. The final $5 million will be raised from industry.

“The ICT tools developed here, in collaboration with industry, will help improve our energy use, monitor our fish stocks, protect our oceans, develop our food production capacity and manage our water resources,” Senator Carr said.

“These are issues of strategic importance to Tasmania, but issues that are also highly relevant to the whole nation.”

The funding will be used to promote the development of new services that demonstrate the impact and value arising from the wide-scale connectivity provided by the NBN.

The Centre will host a node of the Australian Centre for Broadband Innovation (ACBI) to leverage the opportunities and benefits that arise from this national platform.

“Tasmania is a ‘living laboratory’ of ideal size and scale to demonstrate technologies and to develop solutions with national and international potential,” Senator Carr said.

“I’m very pleased to be able to make this funding commitment and ensure the Centre continues to develop new ICT technologies that will address national issues.”

Senator Carr made the announcement while visiting the Centre in Hobart. He was accompanied by Premier Lara Giddings, CSIRO Chief Executive Officer Dr Megan Clark, and Member for Denison Andrew Wilkie.

“I’m delighted that CSIRO will match the Government’s funding for the Centre. This will make Tasmania even more competitive in the international ICT sector,” Senator Carr said

The Tasmanian ICT Centre was created in 2006 as a research alliance between CSIRO, the Commonwealth Government and the Tasmanian Government with the goal of developing an internationally competitive ICT sector in Tasmania.