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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 3 Hansard (9 April) . . Page.. 887..


(2) calls on the Government to continue to:

(a) invest in our economy and community through the Digital Canberra Action Plan;

(b) support the Digital Canberra Challenge to encourage innovation in our information technology and communications sector; and

(c) build partnerships across Federal Government, the tertiary education sector and the private sector to encourage more investment in the information and communications technology sector in the ACT.

My motion today is about positioning Canberra as a progressive and innovative city, a world leading digital city. As a tech-savvy city and a city of early adopters, Canberra is ideally placed to evolve further as a flagship digital economy. But this process will not happen without deliberate and strategic involvement of government. My motion outlines the importance of this program continuing—in particular, as a fundamental part of the government's work to create future growth and jobs in our economy.

With this principle as a focus, the Chief Minister launched the digital Canberra action plan recently during her state of the territory address. As part of the announcement, the Chief Minister identified a number of key enabling projects which the government has already begun to deliver: the largest free wi-fi network in Australia—due to go live in Civic around the middle of this year before extending to other town centres—a new town digital hub as a focus of the city's digital community; grants for business workshops and employee training, which will continue to grow the digital skill base of our economy; and a forum for new innovations to be embraced by government in the way we deliver services to the community.

The action plan responds to some key principles which the ACT government sees as central to the future prosperity of the community and the efficient running of government. Of course, the action plan builds on the ACT government's long record of investment and support for digital innovation and exports.

Since 2002 the government has been a partner in Australia's ICT research centre of excellence, NICTA. This is continuing through current investment of more than $12 million in the four years to 2016—a commitment we have made because there is still much untapped potential in the world of ICT. The ACT government's support for NICTA is a direct investment in Canberra's digital, innovation and economic future.

NICTA's Canberra researchers are working with the ACT government, local businesses and research groups at ANU and the University of Canberra on applications with huge potential in our community: e-government innovations; smart grid developments; solar energy; e-health; and transport evaluation and planning.

Just last week, NICTA opened its e-health living laboratory, known as "the lab", at the GP super clinic building at the University of Canberra. The lab aims to develop


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