Australia Accused Of Y2K Scare Tactics By Sm Bs Assoc. : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread Jan 5, 2000

Small business 'conned' by Y2K By KIRSTY NEEDHAM

Small business yesterday accused the Federal Government and computer industry of scare tactics as the millennium bug largely failed to surface on the first business day after the new year holiday. "There is billions of dollars worth of eggs on the face of computer idiots," said Small Business Association of Australia spokesman Mr Jonathan Fowler. "From the Federal Government down, people have been conned."

The small business sector had been identified by the information technology industry and government departments as being the most ill-prepared, and therefore most at risk of Y2K. The Federal Government spent about $4million on an advertising campaign aimed at spurring these companies into action.

By contrast, the Small Business Association of Australia, representing 7,200 businesses, took a "do little" stance. "I'm against people being ripped off by merchants trading on people's ignorance and fear tactics," said Mr Fowler.

However, the chief executive officer of the Government's Y2K industry program, Mr Grahame Inchley, defended the program. "I absolutely disagree that we overstated the case,"he said. Rather than one "diabolical failure", Mr Inchley said the aim was to avoid "multiple small failures causing problems if they all happened at the same time".

One such glitch yesterday saw staff at the Bambini Trust Cafe in the city revert to paper after a two-year-old computer system locked up, displaying the wrong date. Owner Ms Angela Ioannides dragged out the manual and showed it to a number of "computer whizz customers" during the day, but has been told she will need to contact the US software maker that supplied the program.

Small companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange have also questioned the stringent - and costly - Y2K testing they were required to perform. had to do major testing for the Y2K bug after it was publicly floated last year.. "If I was a little businessman down the road with the same number of computers as us, I wouldn't have done as much," said CEO Mr David Tonkin.

-- Jeanette Thomas (, February 13, 2000


A total jaw dropper.

-- Jen Bunker (, February 13, 2000.

Since I spent an enormous amount of time and resources trying to get small businesses to do something (for no particular remuneration), this is annoying. BUT, the date of the article is January 5. Let's ask them in March or January 2001.

-- Bud Hamilton (, February 13, 2000.

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