Page 2179 - Week 07 - Thursday, 16 May 2013

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National ICT Australia

MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Minister for Tourism and Events and Minister for Community Services) (4.19), in reply: I have received some further information from the commonwealth department in relation to NICTA that I thought would be useful to share with the chamber. It would appear that, once again, the scare campaign that has been run by Mr Smyth has proved to be incorrect. The department, the commonwealth Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, has issued a corrigendum to the budget papers, and the department has made a clear public statement that NICTA is not being phased out and, as set out in the budget, NICTA has funding under the current four-year agreement for the next two financial years out to 30 June 2015. $45.1 million is scheduled to be provided in 2013-14 and $42.9 million in 2014-15.

The federal government has a longstanding history of support for NICTA and the groundbreaking research and innovation it undertakes. Discussions are underway about the best funding model for NICTA in future years, and a decision on the Australian government’s contribution to NICTA will be made in the context of next year’s budget.

So, to sum up, the federal minister has debunked Mr Smyth’s position. NICTA itself has debunked Mr Smyth’s position. And now the federal department has debunked Mr Smyth’s position. Mr Smyth, you are wrong. The position put forward by NICTA, by the minister and by the federal department is clear. This was a scare campaign from the start. It is not—

Mr Coe: That required a corrigendum.

MR BARR: Because of the scare campaign. But the commonwealth has now made it very clear, by issuing a corrigendum and by making a clear statement at ministerial level and at departmental level, that what you have suggested this morning is not true.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

The Assembly adjourned at 4.22 pm until Tuesday, 4 June 2013, at 10 am.

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