Cyber-safety panic button cost $73k

Cyber-safety panic button cost $73k

Summary: It cost the Federal Government $73,000 to have a red-coloured software-based button developed to protect children when they are being cyber-bullied.

TOPICS: Government AU

It cost the Federal Government $73,000 to have a red-coloured software-based button developed to protect children when they are being cyber-bullied.

And that's only the "first phase", according to a statement issued to ZDNet Australia from the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE).


Stephen Conroy
(Credit: Sony)

The button was launched Tuesday last week at the 2010 Cyber-Safety and Youth Advisory Group (YAG) Summit in Canberra by Communications Minster Stephen Conroy.

Senator Conroy said the new button would provide internet users, particularly children and their parents, "easy access to relevant cyber-safety information and assistance".

The $73,000 figure is not far from the $100,000 it was rumoured to have cost before its release, which was outed on broadband forum Whirlpool by user cmdwedge.

According to cmdwedge, eight software programmers were working on the button.

The department said it had contracted Saltbush Development — which provides ICT, security, testing and training services — to create the button.

The $73,000, according to the department, included compatibility testing across operating systems, which would largely take place in July, when the button is likely to launch.

"It will sit on the desktop and will come with an auto update facility and some capacity for desktop configuration to make it more functional to users," the department said.

The button has attracted ridicule from some, causing them to change their Twitter profile image to a large red button. However, that ridicule wasn't restricted to Twitter.

"I sure hope this is an April fool's joke from someone that turned their calendar the wrong way," said Whirlpool user tin, before the button was launched.

Topic: Government AU

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  • Errrrrrr, I said this before, and I'll say it again.

    We already have a RED PANIC button. It's the red cross on every program and every window.

    Can I have $73,000 now? Just when you thought the madness couldn't get any worse. And to think these people are in charge of our money and infrastructure.
  • Typical Government, they just love throwing money away! Especially when that little red x is so handy!
  • I have to agree with Finchwizard as every program already comes with a Red Panic button. The $73,000 would be better spent on making Conroy go away. The Minister is a Joke and apparently has nothing better to do than waste tax payers money on useless infrastructure. If he's so worried about the children why not spend more money on Law enforcement tracking down the people doing the wrong thing instead of interfering with normal every day people. Thank goodness here in Australia we have tall poppy syndrome and a Federal election coming up!
  • It seems pretty obvious that Saltbush Consulting is aligning itself with Conjob's political aspirations. Why not? I'm sure Conjob will be only to willing to ensure his supporters financially benefit...

    FWIW here's the contract details, which appears to have avoided a public RFT by going through a standing panel offer:

    Cyber-Safety Help Button Widget
    CN ID CN283200
    Agency Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy
    Publish Date 4-May-2010
    Category Computer accessories
    Contract Period 23-Apr-2010 to 30-Jul-2010
    Contract Value $72,600.00
    Description Cyber-Safety Help Button Widget
    Procurement Method Open
    ATM ID RFTS07/129
    SON ID SON50822
    Confidentiality - Contract No
    Confidentiality - Outputs No
    Consultancy No

    Supplier Details
    Name Saltbush Consulting Pty Ltd
    Postal Address PO Box 208
    Town/City Erindale
    Postcode 2903
    State/Territory ACT
    Country Australia
    ABN 58 134 662 963

    Agency Details
    Contact Name ADMIN OFFICER
    Contact Phone (02) 6271 1190
    Office Postcode 2603
    Agency Reference ID 0004529061
    Scott W-ef9ad
  • I am a member of the Youth Advisory Group and I think that this is great, now for those of you who said "Why not use the big X button", well thats not very helpful, it will just avoid the problem temporarily, while the cyber safety button can prevent it for everyone and also educates the populace of cybersafety issues. I attended the launch of this button and I think it is a big step forward in stopping cybersafety in Australia. I think the Minister has started a great initiative, however, less money could have been spent but it will pay off to protect young Australians.