BUDGET 2020: This is the start of my thread looking at Australia’s federal Budget, delayed from its usual deliver in May because of the ’flu or something. This is a very narrow look, so first some background. #Budget2020
If you don’t know who I am and what I usually write about then check out stilgherrian.com and authory.com/Stilgherrian respectively. I’m mostly be staying in my lane because there will be plenty of other people doing the headlines. #Budget2020
The official Budget documents will appear at budget.gov.au at 7.30pm AEDT, and there will be links out to each department’s detailed number. There’s a lot of detail, so here’s how to approach it... #Budget2020
Actually this guide from 2015 is pretty good. “Federal budget: How to read the budget papers” smh.com.au/national/feder… It explains what each of the documents are and what’s in them. #Budget2020
I disagree with that guide on one point. You can skip the Treasurer’s overview. It’ll repeat what’s in his speech, and it’s really just all the political focus and spin. #Budget2020
“I always read the budget speech first. It is thin. It gives me an idea of what the Treasurer wants me to think are the main points,” wrote Peter Martin. Which is fine for straight reporting, but analysis should be about you think is important, not the Treasurer’s. #Budget2020
The Treasurer’s speech is of course at 7.30pm AEDT which is why all the documents appear then. Josh Frydenberg is one of the worst droning speakers in Parliament, so I’ll definitely tune that out. I suggest you do too. #Budget2020
I will skim the Budget overview but then go straight to Budget Measures (which may or may not be Budget Paper No. 2) which lists all the expenditure item for the next four financial years. #Budget2020
I will also look at Agency Resourcing and the individual Portfolio Budget Statements which report all that by department and agency. Some might get finding from multiple sources, for example. #Budget2020
There’s some traps for young players. First, changes are reported relative to the last annual budget (May 2019) not what has and hasn’t been announced since. A lot of the big items will not be new. #Budget2020
Second, some of the items will have been announced, or at least hinted at, in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) budget.gov.au/2019-20/conten… and this year the Economic and Fiscal Update July 2020 budget.gov.au/2020-efu/econo…. Again, new may no be new. #Budget2020
Another thing to watch is the phrase “$X over four years”, which means what it says. The Big Number isn’t necessarily going to happen any time soon. Four years is three budgets and a whole election cycle away. It’s a “promise” in the political meaning of the word. #Budget2020
Once a program has been announced it’s more difficult politically to cancel it, of course, but we now live in an era when breaking political promises means very little in practical terms. #Budget2020
Note also that some of the programs announced by Morrison recently use the phrase “$X over 10 years,” a phrase so meaningless as to be comical. #Budget2020
OK, that’s enough background for now. I’ll throw in some more tips as we go along. But Droning Josh is getting up on his hind legs, so here we go. #Budget2020
Everything is online and downloading quickly! Wow! budget.gov.au Frydenberg’s speech is at ministers.treasury.gov.au/ministers/josh….

“The Great Depression and two World Wars did not bring Australia to its knees, neither will COVID-19.” Lol FFS what a clown. #Budget2020
As an aside, this is the announced infrastructure project spend. #Budget2020
This “additional $201.5 million to deliver the 2020 Cyber Security Strategy” is the $1.7 billion over 10 years already announced. zdnet.com/article/the-di…
There’s some interesting details in the cyber world. Let me dig through them slowly. #Budget2020
So a caveat: I’m tweeting these numbers as I’m discovering them, so I may adjust my comments as I probe deeper and deeper. Oooh, Matron! #Budget2020
Here’s an example. Some of the “new” funding for the Cyber Security Strategy is taken from other agencies that would have been spent on cybersecurity in some other way in the MYEFO. New is not new. #Budget2020
Here’s another one. The extra $1.6 million to the Commonwealth Ombudsman to monitor the TOLA Act is deducted from Home Affairs generally, and is only for the current financial year. #Budget2020
“$12.7million from 2020-21 to establish the Australia-India Cyber and Critical Technology Partnership,” though apparently “funding for this measure has already been provided for by the Government” within DFAT somewhere. #Budget2020
I’m pretty sure this $4.7 million for energy sector cybers was part of that $1.7 billion announced the other week. TO BE CHECKED. #Budget2020
More to the eSafety Commissioner for things including a “new adult cyber abuse takedown scheme under the new [proposed] Online Safety Act”. #Budget2020
Another aside: Defence has an nfp (not for publication) allocation for settling a class action about “Per- and Poly-Fluoroalkyl Substances” so there’s a story there. #Budget2020
Another aside: It’d be worth going through all the department budgets to see what money was lost to cover the “COVID-19 Response Package” i.e. JobSeeker and JobKeeper and all that stuff. There will be dents that won’t buff out. #Budget2020
Lol. The “Cyber Enhanced Situational Awareness and Response (CESAR)” system announced with much fanfare isn’t any new money. It has to come out of existing agency budgets. #Budget2020
To be fair, CESAR was something that would’ve been built anyway. Eventually. Probably. But it was given a name to become part of a Morrison announceable. New is not new. #Budget2020
I’ll come back to the cybers a bit later. I’ll move to other tech things now. Meanwhile if you’re appreciating this thread you might like to throw a few bucks into the tip jar at stilgherrian.com/tip because no one is paying for this. #Budget2020
Just heard on @abcnews, that the Budget contains a few “heroic assumptions” including a COVID-19 vaccine. You can chase this stuff elsewhere but I just thought it amusing. #Budget2020
@abcnews Right. There’s some 5G things that I’ll need to dig into now I think. The Australian 5G Innovation Initiative! “Improving the allocation and management of spectrum”! #Budget2020
Hahahaha! I thought I was just experiencing déjà vu. #Budget2020
Oh right. That 5G stuff was past of the “Digital Business Plan $796.4 million over four years” announced last week. zdnet.com/article/austra… #Budget2020
“Budget 2020: Everything within Canberra's AU$796.5 million Digital Business Plan” by @ashabeeeee zdnet.com/article/budget… #Budget2020
Lol! Frydenberg just tried to have a go at Labor for pink batts and that’s why him being in deficit now isn’t bad. Drongo. Leigh Sales is giving him grief on @abcnews right now. Trying to get him to admit that deficit can be a useful economic policy tool. #Budget2020
Hmmm. Looks like the Portfolio Budget Statements aren’t online yet. budget.gov.au/2020-21/conten… #Budget2020
Here’s the chart for the JobMaker Digital Business Plan. #Budget2020
Nearly all of this, if not all, has been announced previously. #Budget2020
Onto some other bits and pieces. The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) get more, in part to cover “recent nuclear medicine production disruption”. I am curious about this, but won’t do a story myself. #Budget2020
As an aside, it always amuses me that people are often surprised to find that Australia has a (very very small) nuclear reactor. #Budget2020
Thank you, I thought it was probably something like this, but was too lazy to look it up. #Budget2020
Here we go. “Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, also known as “PFAS”, are a class of manufactured chemicals that have been used since the 1950s to make products that resist heat, stains, grease and water.” www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/… #Budget2020
That Dept Health web page has a bunch of stuff about incidents relating to firefighting gear at RAAF bases etc. The budget line item is “nfp”probably because it would reveal the government’s negotiating position, unless the class action has already been settled. #Budget2020
Here’s something I wasn’t tracking. “Budget 2020: Everything within Canberra's AU$796.5 million Digital Business Plan” by @ashabeeeee zdnet.com/article/budget… #Budget2020
@ashabeeeee More little bits and pieces. The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) which includes privacy and FOI gets almost nothing new. $300k next financial year. Not entirely sure what that is, but it’s like a few people to do... something for one year. #Budget2020
Does this sound like much for women in STEM? Over five years it’s $5 million per year. Not exactly ambitious. #Budget2020
The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) does not appear in Budget Paper No. 2. One of only three mentions of audit is “Reducing Regulatory Burden and Streamlining Audit Arrangements in the Dairy Sector”. #Budget2020
The other two? Australian National Diabetes Audit (sounds worthwhile) and “planning and audit activities” for the National Collecting Institutions (Aust National Maritime Museum, National Library, Old Parliament House, National Film and Sound Archive). #Budget2020
“Budget 2020: Commonwealth Ombudsman scores AU$1.6m to oversee encryption laws” by @dobes, who’s provided some solid backgrounding. zdnet.com/article/budget…

“Elsewhere, government fills out some of the details for where its cybersecurity strategy money will be spent.” #Budget2020
But as I said before, the Ombudsman’s allocation is ONLY for the current financial year. I guess the office will have to agree for it again. #Budget2020
Important point re ANAO. #Budget2020 zdnet.com/article/budget…
I’ll keep poking at this until 10pm AEDT, so another 20 minutes, but I’ve think I’ve found the guts of it for cybers and tech. I agree with @dobes’ line: “If there is one word to sum up the Australian Budget of 2020-21, it is pre-announced.” zdnet.com/article/budget… #Budget2020
Home Affairs’ Portfolio Budget Statements 2020-21 are online now. homeaffairs.gov.au/reports-and-pu… #Budget2020
Here are the amusing KPIs for the Cyber Security Strategy. The highlighted excuse amuses me, particularly as the Cyber Security Strategy 2020 had very few measurable outcomes to begin with. #Budget2020
“Budget 2020: Federal government backflips as R&D tax incentive receives AU$2b boost” by @achanthadavong zdnet.com/article/budget… #Budget2020

I’ve been retweeting @zdnetaustralia
stories because they’re colleagues, but I’ll send a few minutes on our friends elsewhere.
These two stories from News Corp are interesting because they’re just highlighting previously-announced things. (No links, sorry, I don’t have subscriptions but you can get this stuff free online through your local or state library.) #Budget2020
There’s some stuff here about biometric verification and digital identity, but I don’t know how much of this is previously-announced funding. #Budget2020
Actually there aren’t many stories in the cyber and tech fields from other news media. I’ll look again in the morning to see if anything turns up. #Budget2020
“Budget 2020: Public Service transformation hyped as key to economic recovery” by the ever hard-working @ashabeeeee zdnet.com/article/budget… #Budget2020
I’m paying partial attention to general media coverage of the Budget as a whole and there’s a vibe of yeah well there’s a bunch of assumptions in here and sure we’ll see. #Budget2020
Before I wrap this, let me say there’s two things that happen now. One is Senate Estimates, the gruelling committee process, which kicks off 19 Oct and examines this in detail. Then all the the related legislation has to get through Parliament. It’s not 100% certain. #Budget2020
If you’ve been finding this thread useful you might like to throw a few bucks into the tip jar at stilgherrian.com/tip because no one is paying for this. Meanwhile I’ll play for another hour because I’m still awake. #Budget2020
Great headline here from @michellegrattan: “This budget will only work if business and consumers play ball” theconversation.com/this-budget-wi… #Budget2020
Also important: “The budget assumes a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available next year. Is this feasible?” theconversation.com/the-budget-ass… #Budget2020
“Spend, spend, spend — Frydenberg’s road to recovery relies on the Great Australian Binge” by @BernardKeane crikey.com.au/2020/10/06/bud… (Probably $ but I have a subscription.) #Budget2020
Here’s a Budget response from the Australian Academy of Science. science.org.au/federal-budget… #Budget2020
Oops I’d missed this. Further to earlier comments on the auditing of government, ANAO has actually had its budget cut. #Budget2020

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