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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 6 Hansard (22 June) . . Page.. 1761 ..

Computers - Year 2000 Problems

(Question No. 168)

Mr Corbell asked the Chief Minister, upon notice, on 5 May 1999:

In relation to strategies for the year 2000 (Y2K) problem -

1) Under the 1998-1999 Budget, the Year 2000 hotline was established in response to the Y2K problem

a) how many small and medium businesses have contacted the hotline; and

b) has the effectiveness of this strategy been assessed and if so what were the results.

2) Has the Government written to private sector organisations who are licensed to distribute mains gas and electricity in the ACT regarding the Y2K issue as promised in the 1998-1999 Budget and if so what responses have been received.

3) What other specific strategies has the Government employed to promote Y2K compliance within the community.

Ms Carnell

: The answer to the Member's question is as follows:

1) a) The average number of calls to the hotline between July 1998 and April 1999 has been 44 per month. Information from each caller as to their background is not sought by the hotline so it is not possible to report on the number who have called on behalf of small to medium businesses.

b) The 1-800 Y2K hotline forms an element of a national communications strategy and is assessed by the National Y2K Steering Committee on which the ACT is an active member. Total calls to State and Territory based hotlines have ranged from around 3000 per month to over 15000 in March this year. This jump in March was due largely to extensive Y2K advertising of a Y2K "work-book" aimed at SMEs in Queensland. As a result of the Queensland experience, the National Y2K Steering Committee will utilise the hotline as the primary point of contact for both SMEs and the general public as part of a national advertising campaign planned to commence in July.

2) The Government has been in contact with AGL, the mains gas supplier for the Territory, and with ACTEW regarding Y2K status. On 12 January 1999, the Government received a written response from AGL indicating that the utility was very well advanced in its Y2K preparations.

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