Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 1 Hansard (21 February) . . Page.. 90 ..
MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, I ask for leave to present a petition which does not conform with standing orders as it does not address the Assembly nor contain a request. I also seek leave to say a couple of words on that petition.
MR MOORE: I present an out-of-order petition from 80 residents concerning education funding. In this case, the petition is from a number of students at Hughes Primary School, who are petitioning on behalf of their teachers, seeking a fair pay rise for their teachers. The students consider that the present situation is not fair. One of the reasons why it is out of order is that the wording is clearly in the hand of primary school students. It gives me great pleasure to table this petition, because it shows a genuine recognition of what the students want and means that the students themselves are involved in a small way in a political process. I think the education of our children is enhanced when they are involved in the political process in a sensible way.
MS FOLLETT (Leader of the Opposition) (10.34): Mr Speaker, I present the Fair Trading (Amendment) Bill 1996.
Title read by Clerk.
MS FOLLETT: I move:
That this Bill be agreed to in principle.
This Bill aims to protect the privacy of smart card databases by making it an offence to disclose the data compiled on individual spending patterns in any way that would identify the consumer without that person's consent. Smart cards may soon revolutionise the way that we pay for things. Instead of carrying cash or credit cards, we will pay for things with smart cards. These are plastic cards which contain computer chips encoded with electronic cash. They are often referred to as "stored value cards". In fact, the Government in Singapore hopes to have a cashless society in place by the turn of the century. Much closer to home, MasterCard, I believe, are proposing a major trial of the technology in Canberra; in fact, in Belconnen, early this year.
I am very concerned that we do not yet know the terms and conditions of that trial and that there is as yet no code of practice governing the use of smart cards. It does seem that the EFT code of practice does not apply to smart cards. I am also concerned that the consumer representatives appear to have been locked out of the decision-making on this new technology. I believe that, before we plunge into this brave new world, we should carefully consider the implications of this new technology. What are the possible drawbacks to smart cards? In consultation with consumer representatives, I have been advised that there are considerable drawbacks for low income earners in our community.