The NSW Government is investing more than $700 million in this year’s Budget to expand the digital capabilities of the State and build new and flexible ways of delivering services everywhere from classrooms and living-rooms to courtrooms.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the funding formed part of the Government’s $1.6 billion Digital Restart Fund and will be used to boost regional and remote education improve cyber security, enhance NSW Courts and enhance ePlanning.
“COVID-19 has shown us just how important it is to have the digital infrastructure and the skills to match for a modern flexible society,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Streamlining and enhancing our digital capabilities improves efficiencies, makes our lives simpler and ultimately saves everyone time and money.”
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the funding was a down-payment on the future economic growth of NSW.
“The future belongs to the innovative and bold, and this investment will create jobs make doing business with Government easier and enhance reform,” Mr Perrottet said.
Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said today’s announcement kept NSW at the front of the line when it came to digital government.
“NSW is the most digitally advanced jurisdiction in Australia and this funding will empower us to enter a new frontier,” Mr Dominello said.
“Whether it’s transforming the way we teach children in regional and remote schools, or bolstering our cyber security systems, this investment sends the community a strong message that we are putting the customer at the centre of everything we do.”
A key component of the $700 million funding contained in the upcoming Budget is $366 million to close the digital gap in schools in rural and remote areas.
Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell said the funding is supporting the Government’s commitment to regional education.
“I want every student to have the best access to education, and this investment in the digital capacity of regional schools makes that possible,” Ms Mitchell said.
“The uplift will provide regional teachers with the tools, training and support they need to integrate digital resources into the classroom.
“Through upskilling the workforce and upgrading school technology, we will lift the educational opportunities for the 210,000 students who call regional NSW home.”
Attorney General Mark Speakman said thousands of people who come into contact with the NSW Justice system each year will benefit from an investment of more than $54 million to bring the best of 21st century innovation into our courts.
“This investment will revolutionise court processes in NSW, providing a single digital point of contact for court users, bringing more proceedings online and digitising court files to help the move towards a paperless environment,” Mr Speakman said.
Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said funding for ePlanning would reduce assessment timeframes, reduce red tape and enhance productivity.
“Technology can help take a lot of frustration and time out of tiresome processes, and our challenge is to ensure we continue to improve all our systems,” Mr Stokes said.
The NSW Government’s digital investment initiatives include:
- $240 million over three years for cyber security maturity uplift, including an initial $20 million ($60 million over three years) investment in Cyber Security NSW, to help boost cyber security across agencies and departments;
- $366 million over two years to retool regional schools, upgrade learning spaces, upskill teachers and give students cutting edge distance education platforms and digital education resources;
- $54.5 million for the Digital Courts Reform project which will help to digitise courts and tribunals, enhance efficiency, improve customer experience, reduce technology risk and improve business continuity and build data capability;
- $45.8 million for ePlanning Phase 4 to be delivered over the next three years.
Phase 4 will continue to enhance the quality and reliability of planning data, working to reduce assessment timeframes, cut red tape and costs for business;
- $17.5 over two years (including $13.6 million in 2020-2) for the Assured Revenue program to make the lodgment and collection of revenue simpler.