Show us the money! Oz Budget under CC

In the debate over the merits of last night’s conservative budget, there’s one thing we’d argue Swan did get right – the licensing.

The entire budget has been released under a Creative Commons Attribution licence. This means the material it contains – the deficit strategy, the fiscal aggregates, the government’s responses to the economic crisis – is all available for free reuse, by anyone, for any purpose, as long as the source is attributed.

A single document, even one that’s 350 pages long, may not seem like that big a deal compared to some of the other open government initiatives over the last few years – like the release of the Australian Bureau of Statistic’s entire store of census data under CC. But as a public endorsement of CC as the licence of choice for the Australian Federal Government, it’s huge.

Following the strong support for open access in the government’s response to the Gov 2.0 report last week, this is a great show of the government putting its money where its mouth is (sorry, I couldn’t resist). In fact, the last week has seen the release of three major Federal Government reports – the Budget, the Gov 2.0 response and the NBN Implementation Study – all under CC licences. This seems to be a great indicator that the government really means what it says – open access is going to be the default position for the Australian Federal Government from now on.

Bring on the remixes, mashups and YouTube tributes!

Update: And for those interested, a couple of good articles on the budget’s CC licensing by Craig Thomler and Computerworld

Realising Our Broadband Future around Australia

And another one for those interested in government communications policy – on Thursday the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy is running the Realising Our Broadband Future forum at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

With an opening by – wait for it – the Prime Minister, the Hon Kevin Rudd, and featured keynote speakers including Senator the Hon. Stephen Conroy Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, well known open access advocate Senator Kate Lundy and CEO of the NBN Co. Mike Quigley, the day certainly looks set to be one of the keystone public consultation events in the lead up to the National Broadband Network.

From the website:

The National Broadband Network (NBN) will turbo-charge our digital economy and enable Australia to become a global leader in using the online world – the world of the 21st century. It will make possible new ways of delivering all essential services.

We need to start planning now for this new world to ensure we maximise the opportunities that the National Broadband Network will provide.

The Government is hosting the Realising Our Broadband Future forum to map the applications and business models that will thrive in Australia’s high speed broadband future.

The UNSW forum is invitation only – but to make sure everyone can get involved there are a number of options for remote participation, from a live stream to an idea wiki to Twitter hashtag. They’re also inviting people to suggest ideas or topics in advance of the forum, based around the five streams of:

• Smart Infrastructure
• e-Business.
• Digital Education
• e-Health
• e-Communities

Furthermore, there are a couple of complimentary forums popping up around the country, combining live streams of the main keynotes with local speakers and discussion forums. For instance, our sister research project, auPSI, will be hosting an event at QUT in Brisbane. A similar forum is being held at Parramatta.

So take advantage of the options to participate in shaping this important part of Australia’s development, while you still have the ability to have your say.