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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 2 Hansard (18 March) . . Page.. 393..


That said, we should never forget that it was Canberra where wi-fi technology was first created and it will be Canberra where many more fantastic opportunities and ideas come to life. We must continue to look for opportunities to support the many smart individuals and businesses in our city and determine how best to translate the success of Silicon Valley in fostering technology development given our city's undoubted competitive advantage in knowledge-based industries.

Building on discussions in Silicon Valley, we then held a series of meetings with representatives of a number of firms in San Francisco's high-tech sector. This included: Alastair Mitchell, the CEO and co-founder of Huddle, a leader in cloud collaboration and content management; Allan Young, the founder of Runway, one of the largest incubators in San Francisco; Viki Forrest, the CEO of the ANZA Technology Network, a business accelerator that works with Australian, New Zealand, American and Asian entrepreneurs; and Mark Sherman, the Managing Director of Telstra Ventures, which invests in breakthrough companies that are strategically important to Telstra.

As was the case with my time in Silicon Valley, each of these meetings reinforced the importance of positioning Canberra as the pre-eminent digital city in Australia and to highlight the range of opportunities before us—the opportunity to attract these international firms to Canberra, the opportunity to assist Canberra firms in breaking into national and overseas markets and the opportunity for improving our service delivery to our community.

Turning now to Singapore, I was joined by the Chair of the Canberra Business Council, Michelle Melbourne, and the Managing Director of Canberra Airport, Stephen Byron. Our activities in Singapore were targeted and aimed at building on the strong foundations laid during our visit earlier last year, in April.

I would like to put on record the tremendous support that we received from the Australian High Commissioner, Philip Green, in the development of a comprehensive two-day program of high-level meetings. The Canberra Business Council and the Canberra Airport have been strong supporters of strengthening our bilateral relationships with the Singapore government and major private sector investors.

Following the presentation of a business case to Singapore Airlines by officials and Stephen Byron in August, we took the opportunity to meet again with Mr Chin Yau Seng, the Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing for Singapore Airlines. Mr Byron and I received a first-hand update from Mr Chin that our proposal to establish direct services between Canberra and Singapore remains under the airline's active consideration.

If and when a favourable decision is made to commence direct flights between Singapore and Canberra—be that a decision taken by Singapore Airlines or, indeed, by another airline—make no mistake, Madam Speaker: it will transform this city. It will be the end of Canberrans, as well as the 450,000 people who reside within close proximity to our airport, having to endure the terrible transfer through Sydney Airport or, indeed, having to go via Melbourne or Brisbane to travel internationally. It will


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