Lundy pans BITS funds as

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IT shadow minister, Senator Kate Lundy, has criticised the Federal Government's announcement on funding for ICT Incubators and Advance Networks Programs as "too little too late".

A day after the Federal Government's announcement it would pour $57 million into the ICT Incubators and Advanced Networks programs, as part of a $308 million boost into the Australia's IT industry, Lundy has panned the move.

National ICT Australia (NICTA) will receive the bulk of the money -- $251 million.

Outgoing Federal Minister for IT and the Arts Daryl Williams said the funding would extend the program to 2007-2008.

However Lundy said it has taken the Howard Government more than 12 months to commit funding for the ICT Incubators and Advance Networks Programs, which were formed four years ago as part of the Building on IT Strengths program (BITS).

Lundy said uncertainty regarding future government funding in late 2003 "has meant constraints in the activities of many Incubators and in some cases has seen their doors close".

"These ICT Incubators have already proven to be of great value to the Australian economy by addressing the market failure in Australia's innovation cycle -- that is, the provision of capital and business acumen to early stage technology companies," she said. 

The Incubators have generated more than 757 jobs since its inception, according to an independent report by Econtech released last year.

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