Costello's budget was light on IT initiatives with the Defence spend budgeted at $2.5 billion including money for the purchase of hi-tech helicopters and a further $411 million on airport and shipping port security.
The Australian Secret Intelligence Service and ASIO will receive around $42 million over four year for surveillance equipment.
Shadow Minister for IT and sport, Senator Kate Lundy, said there was no reference made to recommendations contained in the government's Framework for the Future report of the Broadband Advisory Group report, "further evidence that these were merely motherhood statements not linked to any policy vision," Lundy said.
Lundy also claimed other features of the budget relating to ICT were also bad news. There was no commitment to continue funding the Building on IT Strengths incubators beyond June next year, a cut to the National Office for the Information Economy of around $5.8 million and a funding cut to NetAlert from $4.5 million to $1.5 million over three years.
"The silence over the BITS incubator program means it will be forced to spend the next 12 months winding up operations, leaving the Australian innovation landscape with out a public policy initiative to capitalise on Australia's good ideas," Lundy said.
Meanwhile, the Federal government said Wednesday morning that it would spend $312 million over five years in a major upgrade to Centrelink's computer systems. A statement said Internet, phone, SMS and other emerging technologies will soon be part of the department's service delivery. "Just like phone or Internet banking, Centrelink customers will be able to remotely access, update, track and change their personal details and check payment details from home," a statement said.