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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 September 2010) . . Page.. 4336 ..


community. Internet provides a mechanism for supporting people living with a disability to access services such as groceries, banking and training opportunities. Internet also provides people living with a disability with information on support services and the ability to participate in the workforce, through flexible working options. Reliable high speed broadband will enable people with disabilities to make better use of Web 2.0 tools, such as blogs, wikis and social media platforms, to access e-government services. These and other underdeveloped tools are beginning to offer a quiet but profound revolution for people with disabilities to access government services online, contribute to public policy decisions and discussions, socialise and engage in the community through the use of social media and receive support online from professionals.

The national broadband network will assist in the implementation of these plans by providing greater internet access to all citizens regardless of age, cultural background, gender or disability. The national broadband network offers great potential to increase social inclusion in our society, and I urge everyone in this place to embrace the opportunities that this provides to our community. I thank Ms Porter for bringing the motion to the Assembly.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Planning, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation and Minister for Gaming and Racing) (4:47): I move the following amendment to Ms Le Couteur’s proposed amendment:

Omit proposed paragraph (4), substitute:

“(4) work with NBN Co and TransACT to deliver high-speed, cabled broadband to new subdivisions;”.

My amendment essentially seeks to acknowledge that, in relation to the provision of cable high speed broadband in new subdivisions, it is important that we work with NBNCo and with TransACT in the delivery of that. To be purely pragmatic, obviously there is a cost associated with rolling out that infrastructure and, if it can be provided as part of the national broadband network, it would make sense. I see nodding in agreement from Ms Le Couteur, so, hopefully, she will agree with my amendment.

In relation to paragraph (5) of Ms Le Couteur’s amendment, yes, I do note that a variety of groups have a position in relation to the mandatory internet filter. As I understand the situation nationally, Minister Conroy has in fact deferred further consideration on that matter, subject to some further consultation around a range of technical and policy issues that relate to the proposed internet filter. I certainly acknowledge there are a variety of views in relation to the issue itself—whether there should be a filter—and then equally to whether it is technically practical to achieve such an outcome.

I tend to fall into the camp that does not see a need for an internet filter. If people want to opt in to such a service, that is entirely appropriate, but it should not be a blanket position for all users of the internet, and one would hope that, through the further consideration of this policy in the months ahead, that will be the position that


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