Is NICTA actually a good deal?
I'm not an Australian, but here in NZ we have a similar government program that pisses tens of millions of dollars against the wall.
Sure, they do get some achievements but the same money could achieve far better outcomes if spent differently. There are many small companies that could generate amazing results with just 1M or so of funding. That money could enable 20 or so small companies to do good stuff rather than one large government organisation soak up the funding and achieve standard government outcomes (ie. not very much).