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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 September 2010) . . Page.. 4343 ..

teachers have been identified by the Learning Federation of Australia as the largest per capita users of the national digital curriculum content.

Broadband is important to education because it connects communities, delivers individual learning, allows the free flow of information and makes it so much easier for students to access the world and get instant feedback. Without broadband and without the substantial investment by the ACT and federal governments, the ACT and Australia would be left behind. Instead, we have ensured that Canberra is well placed to capitalise on the national broadband network. It is good for students, because it enhances their education.

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (5.18): I thank members for their contribution to this debate. However, unfortunately as usual, Mr Smyth continues the negative glass-half-empty policy of his party with his attack on broadband and its advantages, including his selective reading from and quoting of commentary on NBN. For instance, he omits to say that Mr Wood went on to say in the article in the Australian today that broadband would be a great boon for businesses and for education and medical services. Mr Smyth seeks to relegate this important investment to something that just provides people with the opportunity to download movies faster and a waste of money. And this demonstrates that he is totally ignorant of its great potential and the demand for this facility. To say that people in Gungahlin will not want it beggars belief.

I think we need to consider—and obviously he does not—the number of businesses alone that will welcome this facility. As I said before, it highlights the narrowness of the Liberals’ view of the world. And I thought that the Liberal Party was supposed to be the friend of small business, those that champion the cause of small business.

What about the benefits that will be gained from e-health? As I said before, I have had the benefits of this demonstrated to me in the remote Northern Territory and in South Korea. This is indeed lifesaving technology.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Stop the clock. Members, please, Ms Porter is trying to close debate and there are rumblings around the chamber. If you wish to rumble, please do with a little less volume. Thank you very much.

MS PORTER: Thank you, Mr Assistant Speaker. As I was saying before, I have observed this technology in action as it was demonstrated in the Northern Territory and in South Korea, in particular with regard to e-health, and I believe this is lifesaving technology. Those opposite think it is a waste of money.

The benefits to the community as a whole cannot be argued with, even though Mr Smyth has made a feeble attempt to do so. I have already highlighted the way our community have embraced the internet and this age of communication. The ACT government has also embraced it as a means of consulting with the community.

Ms Le Couteur has also highlighted how much the community have made use of it in the way they have communicated with the government and indeed with committees. However, Mr Smyth thinks this is all a bad idea. His colleagues also think it is a bad idea.

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