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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 14 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 5168 ..

MS DUNDAS (continuing):

I think we know that open source can work, and we know the benefits that it will have for the community. We will have, if this legislation is successful, an environment that allows the government to consider what open standards mean so that we don't get locked into just one company's software. We can add new components to our system so that we can get at our data in the future, and we can support the local IT industry that has led the world in the development of open source issues.

If this legislation is successful today we will be the first jurisdiction in Australia to pass legislation, but we will not be the first in the world. We will join South Africa, India, Peru, Brazil, most of the European Union, and some of those fine states in America, such as Massachusetts, that the Treasurer likes to talk about in respect of how businesses are going.

As I said, I am disappointed the debate seemed to have got side-tracked tonight, but I am glad there is support in the Assembly for it because there is support in the community for it. This bill has not been drafted in isolation. It has been the subject of much consultation with the IT industry-both open source and closed source-and with local businesses on the ground in the ACT who are supportive of the moves being taken tonight. I thank members for their contribution to the debate and I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Clauses 1 to 3, by leave, taken together and agreed to.

Clause 4.

MS DUNDAS (9.17): I move the amendment circulated in my name [see schedule 1 at page 5204].

MRS CROSS (9.17): I seek leave to move amendments 1 and 3 circulated in my name together. They seek to amend Ms Dundas's proposed amendment.

Leave granted.

MRS CROSS: I move amendments 1 and 3 circulated in my name together [see schedule 2 at page 5205].

MS DUNDAS (9.18): I will address my amendment and Mrs Cross' amendments. What Mrs Cross' amendments seek to do is change the requirement of preferring open-source software to considering open-source software, which I think goes a long way in addressing the competition concerns that have been floated. But also quite rightly they add International Organisation for Standardisation standards into the legislation. So we are not just looking at those standards as dictated by the open-source community; we are looking at those recognised by the ISO. I thank Mrs Cross for the work done to get those amendments here today.

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