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Computer bomb - it's no joke



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The Hon. Peter McGauran, MR Minister for Science and Technology

M E D I A R E L E A S E

Wednesday 20 August, 1997

COMPUTER BOMB - IT’S NO JOKE

Businesses refusing to acknowledge the potential dangers o f the Year 2000 Computer Bomb are risking their own financial ruin, according to Federal Science and Technology Minister, Peter McGauran.

The Minister was speaking at the opening o f a new high-technology centre in Melbourne, designed to address the destruction o f computer programs in the lead up to the new century.

The DMR Year 2000 Conversion Centre is part o f an international network o f such facilities and the first to be established in the Asia-Pacific region.

“Almost every pre-1995 computer system will malfunction at the turn o f the century unless they are re-programmed. But time is fast running out,” M r McGauran said.

“Unless changes are in place before the end o f 1998, organisations will miss their last opportunity to perform a dry run test over a real year end.

“Worse, if there is a ‘leave it to the last minute’ attitude by a large number o f organisations, technical assistance to solve the difficulties may not be sufficient to go around.”

The new Centre will use sophisticated techniques to repair computer programs vulnerable to the Computer Bomb and is expected to have the capacity to process over four million lines o f code per month.

“The Commonwealth and State Governments and larger organisations are taking the issue seriously and actively addressing it. But anecdotal evidence suggests many smaller ones do not appreciate the full extent to which the Bomb will impact on their business,” Mr McGauran said.

“The total cost o f rectifying the problem in Australia has been put at between one and $6 billion.

“Even the lowest estimate is substantial, but the cost o f inaction is far greater,” he added.

Contact: Carmel Christensen on 03 96500 377 or 0419 996766.

COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY