Page 2163 - Week 07 - Thursday, 16 May 2013

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No new funding was expected to be announced in last night’s statement.

NICTA still has over two more years of funding under the existing four year program—

the $185.5 million four-year program—

and continues to receive strong support across government and Parliament. We are in ongoing discussions about funding beyond the current term.

There is one government in this country that has cut funding to NICTA. That would be the Campbell Newman led government in Queensland. They ditched their funding for NICTA in the last year. So the question would be: what is Mr Smyth going to do to convince his colleague Mr Newman to renew funding for NICTA?

Economy—trade missions

MR BARR: On a second matter, Madam Speaker, Mr Doszpot asked a question on Tuesday in relation to eligibility for Trade Connect grants. I can advise Mr Doszpot that the eligibility criteria are available on the business ACT website. He asked a question in relation to Trade Connect funding and the eligibility requirements. The details are outlined. I will not read them all out, but there was a specific question about whether you could access Trade Connect grants for any travel and living expenses. I am advised that you can. You must pay up-front, but you can seek reimbursement of up to 50 per cent of an economy class fare and 50 per cent of a daily living expense to a maximum amount of $300 for two people only, up to a maximum of 14 days. You need to pay all costs in advance, and reimbursement of legitimate expenditure will occur following funded activity. There is no provision for funding in advance of any of the activities, and you must provide a funding activity report and receipts in order to receive any reimbursement under the scheme.

Personal explanations

MR SMYTH (Brindabella): I would like to make a personal explanation under standing order 46.

MADAM SPEAKER: Do you claim to have been misrepresented?

MR SMYTH: I have been misrepresented, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: Leave is granted to make a personal explanation.

MR SMYTH: Thank you, Madam Speaker. Mr Barr has just said that I was wrong in the assertions that I have made over NICTA. The question that I asked, which he was unable to answer, was: can you confirm that this research institution’s commonwealth funding will be discontinued in the 2015-16 financial year? When one goes to the budget papers for the current year, in 2015-16 NICTA was to receive $20,363,000. In the coming year, the 2013-14 year, that space is empty. The funding has been cut. I did not ask about this year or next year; I asked about the third year. The minister is wrong.

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