Page 3389 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 18 September 2013

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message from our parliament calling on the federal government to commit to maintaining NICTA funding and its visionary and innovative programs. I commend the amendment to the Assembly.

Question put:

That the amendment be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 7

Noes 8

Mr Barr

Ms Gallagher

Mr Coe

Mrs Jones

Dr Bourke

Mr Gentleman

Mr Doszpot

Mr Rattenbury

Ms Burch

Ms Porter

Mrs Dunne

Mr Smyth

Mr Corbell

Mr Hanson

Mr Wall

Question so resolved in the negative.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (4.43), in reply: I will just list a few more things that are under threat if funding is taken away from NICTA. One of their other important jobs is cyber security and, as we have heard, that is a key national security and economic priority for Australia and many countries around the world. The emergence of advanced persistent threats and increasing cyber crime enabled by pervasive connectivity has resulted in a dangerous, complex and fast-evolving threat environment. In collaboration with academia and the research community, government stakeholders and industry more broadly, NICTA will apply its advanced capabilities in software systems, machine learning, networks and optimisation to tackle key research problems to address both the current threat landscape and adopt a long-term approach to the development of systems that are inherently more robust and resilient to emergent cyber threats.

NICTA is creating new software components and tools for the design and implementation of critical systems to make them safer, more reliable and more secure. The security for critical systems is funded by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA.

Another project is the verified real-time operating system. NICTA is working together with the Australian company Breakaway Consulting to develop and verify a small real-time operating system, or RTOS. The RTOS is an order of magnitude smaller than seL4 and suitable for embedded devices with severely constrained resources and strong safety requirements.

One of their other projects in this field is the robust control systems design. By developing a deeper understanding of differing types of cyber attacks and their possible effects, this project is developing methods and tools that can be used in the design of network control systems to reduce the likelihood and severity of deliberate cyber attack, all under threat should this funding cut go through.

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