NSW services will get a cash boost worth more than $700 million to speed up the state’s transition into the digital age.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said her government would dip into the previously announced $1.6 billion Digital Restart Fund to allocate money for the digitisation of schools, courts and other services.
“One lesson we have learned is the success of Service NSW and the way in which digitising services across government has made a real difference to people’s lives,” the Premier said.
When the $1.6 billion fund was announced in June, the NSW Treasurer said it would allow the state to become the “envy of the southern hemisphere” when it came to digital services.
Wednesday’s announcement means we now know where a $723 million portion of that money will go.
Schools will get the biggest chunk, $366 million over two years, to pay for a digital education overhaul, including tools for distance learning.
“This is gonna be a game changer for the bush,” Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said.
“I know that when I went to school in regional areas, we didn’t have a lot of these opportunities. There was a digital divide. This is about bridging that gap.”
The second biggest bag of money, $240 million over three years, will go to cyber security updates across the government.
And another $100 million will be shared by courts and the planning department.
The court system will get the slightly bigger half of that, including funds to begin transitioning from paper to digital court filings.
Planning would get money to “enhance the quality and reliability of planning data, working to reduce assessment timeframes, cut red tape and cost for businesses,” a briefing document read.
Another $17.5 million will go to the state tax department to simplify revenue collection over two years.