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Linux Australia, the umbrella organisation for all Linux user groups in the country, has decided to pick up the remainder of the tab for the visit to Australia and New Zealand by Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

As iTWire reported yesterday, the organisers of the trip were left with a shortfall of $20,000 when one of the sponsors of the trip pulled out. This amount was borne by the main organiser, public service employee Pia Waugh.

Berners-Lee was reportedly paid in excess of $200,000 for his visit. He was one of the keynote speakers at the Australian national Linux conference in Canberra this year, and also gave a number of talks at other places.

After the issue with funding became known, a crowdsourcing effort began to try and help out. That effort has now been called off after raising close to $5000.

Linux Australia president Joshua Hesketh said: "The (Linux Australia) council has been discussing at some length the best way to resolve the situation around unexpected costs for the TBL keynote at LCA.

"Clearly it is a financial burden that no one member of the community should have to bear alone - a practical and obviously well intended gesture though it was.

"We are very proud to see our community stand up and support such outstanding efforts that Pia has made in bringing TBL to Australia. Our sense is that the events simply unfolded too quickly for a response to come from LA or LCA.  None the less we seek to protect our volunteers and will cover the additional amount.

"We also take onboard the very valid points made about LA being stewards of community funds, so by and large it's all the same pot whether it comes from a separate crowdsourced effort, or funds already held in the LCA or LA budget.

"With the above in mind, Linux Australia will be arranging to retire the remaining debt in question as soon as practicable."

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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