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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 1 Hansard (9 February) . .

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Veterinary Surgeons Act—

Veterinary Surgeons (Fees) Determination 2015 (No 1)—Disallowable Instrument DI2015-302 (LR, 5 November 2015).

Veterinary Surgeons Regulation 2015—Subordinate Law SL2015-39 (LR, 27 November 2015).

Internet services

Discussion of matter of public importance

MADAM SPEAKER: I have received letters from Ms Burch, Mr Hanson and Ms Porter proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, I have determined that the matter proposed by Ms Porter be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The importance of high quality internet services in the Territory.

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (4.02): I am pleased to speak about this matter of public importance today, high quality internet services in the territory.

We all know that Canberra is a great city to live and work in. We are one of the world's most livable cities, a city full of early adopters and a city of innovators and entrepreneurs. Of course, in the modern connected world we now live in, our competitiveness as a place to live and a place to do business will depend on high quality internet services. We are the major centre for services to government. We are a growing centre for education services and, increasingly, health services. We can only grow these service industries through exports, and we can only export these services if we have high quality internet services.

Madam Speaker, I think you would agree that we do pretty well on broadband quality and speeds when we compare ourselves to our capital city peers around the country. The problem is that Australia ranks just 40th for global internet speeds. That means that even though Canberra compares well with Brisbane and Adelaide, we are well behind competitors like Singapore and Wellington, where virtually all businesses and most households have access to reliable internet speeds 10 times faster than much of Canberra—10 times faster.

Around half of Canberra's households, and many of our businesses, do not receive services that are reliable, fast and stable enough for them to log into tendering websites to win government contracts or for students and teachers to access school intranets to do homework and mark assignments. I can remember the time when I actually did not have any kind of computer to do my school homework, but that was many moons ago. There are still far too many Canberrans who do not even have access to an ADSL connection, and therefore are unable to use anything other than the most basic internet resources.

Unlike federal parliament, which has been weighed down by a federal Liberal Party with its eyes shut to the importance of the internet for the future of the economy, for decades there has been bipartisan support in this chamber for improving the territory's


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