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Tue Apr 3 06:46:16 UTC 2007

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2004 15:21:01 +0800
From: David Buddrige <buddrige at>
Reply-To: plug at
To: plug at
Subject: [plug] Open source to be used in WA government...

Sorry if you've seen this already but thought it of general interest 



Open source wins political space
Simon Hayes
SEPTEMBER 28, 2004 

THE WA Government has put open source back on the political agenda, 
announcing it will develop a purchasing plan for the software. 

It will also establish a technology demonstration centre to showcase 
non-proprietary options to departments and businesses.
The Department of State Development has flagged plans to build the centre at 
Perth's Technology Park, with a budget of up to $150,000 annually. 

It will be backed by a government steering committee that will develop 
policies for buying open source packages. 

The WA government spends $362 million a year on high-technology and 
communications goods and services. 




The announcement came after government backbencher John Hyde raised the 
issue in Parliament, calling for an audit of the state's outlays for 
proprietary software. 

"By the end of 2005 we should be able to do a whole-of-government audit of 
what we spend on software, taking into account every computer in a state 
office or classroom for which a licence fee is paid for the software 
loaded," he said. 

"We should then compare that, in an opportunity-cost analysis, with going 
over to open source." 

The state stood to save up to $100 million a year if it adopted open source, 
he said. 

The Gallop government would not find the going easy, he said. 

"I am sure that the vested interests of mainstream software developers and 
marketers will be unrelenting in their attempts to preserve market share," 
he said. 

"However, just as the information technology and computing industry has 
outsourced and downsized to increase profits, it is only fair that 
consumers, particularly a consumer as big as the Western Australian 
government, get the best possible deal for their IT dollar." 

His comments have been received positively. The government has set up a 
steering committee to manage the open source issue. 

The Office of E-Government and Treasury, and the State Supply Commission, 
are working on policies for open source. 

Parliamentary secretary to the Premier Mark McGowan said open source was an 
"amazing development" that could cut the government's costs. 

"A significant part of IT spending is the cost of software licensing, most 
of which is spent outside Western Australia," he said. 

"Some of the companies are located in other countries." 

Other states have also quietly moved to adopt open source software, with NSW 
leading the way. The NSW Roads and Traffic Authority recently launched a 
pilot program to deploy 1500 seats of the Sun Microsystems Star Office 
productivity package at a cost of $1.5 million. 

The cause of open source has been championed Australia-wide by the 
Democrats, which introduced open source preference bills in a number of 
state and territory parliaments. 

Late last year the ACT became the first regional government to pass 
legislation calling for consideration of open source in its purchasing 

PLUG discussion list: plug at
Committee e-mail: committee at

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