Representatives from three of Australia's major political parties are expected to detail their policies on open source, Linux and open standards at an industry group conference early next month.
The shadow minister for information technology, Kate Lundy, Jess Healy from the Australian Democrats and a representative from the office of the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Helen Coonan, are all scheduled to address the Australian Unix and Open Systems User Group conference on open source, open standards and Linux.
AUUG treasurer Gordon Hubbard, said, the conference is "mainly to stimulate debate to provide an arena for exchange of ideas." He added that there might also be a chance for the audience to question the party representatives' policies during the conference.
"Open standards, open source and Linux are now hot topics in the public sector," said David Purdue, AUUG president. "We are delighted to see this and to encourage productive debate and positive change."
Two years ago, AUUG called on the government sector to accelerate the adoption of open source software. Purdue said that over the last two years, "there has been enormous progress made" and that the debate has broadened to address open standards as well as open source.
"However, it is still early days and the process of creating a level playing field is ongoing," he added.
Keynote speakers invited for the conference include representatives from the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO), AT&T and Sun Microsystems.
Although focused on providing strong technical content, Purdue said the conference also addresses business topics. Security will also feature as an area of discussion.
The "AUUG2004 - Who Are You?" conference will be held at the Duxton Hotel, Melbourne from 1 to 3 September 2004.