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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 September 2010) . . Page.. 4329 ..

Question put:

That Mr Smyth’s amendment be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 6

Noes 11

Mr Coe

Mr Hanson

Mr Barr

Ms Hunter

Mr Doszpot

Mr Seselja

Ms Bresnan

Ms Le Couteur

Mrs Dunne

Mr Smyth

Ms Burch

Ms Porter

Mr Corbell

Mr Rattenbury

Ms Gallagher

Mr Stanhope

Mr Hargreaves

Question so resolved in the negative.

MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (4.22): I thank Ms Porter very much for raising this issue today. It follows on quite nicely from my motion this morning on ICT. We have already, in fact, discussed this morning the reasons why we need the internet. I will not have enough time to go through all the things that have already been touched upon, but it is important. Governments are now more and more moving to make information available only online.

Quite positively, one of the results of the planning committee’s recent inquiry into live events was that a Facebook group was independently established—not by us—to support it. In the news yesterday it was stated that people are downloading 50 per cent more than they were a year ago. As we have said, high speed internet services are essential for building good communities. They give people access to work, education, play, social opportunities et cetera.

An ACT ICT blogger, Tom Worthington, has provided a few additional statistics. At the end of June this year, there were 9.6 million active internet subscribers in Australia. The phasing out of dial-up internet connections has continued with nearly 92 per cent of internet connections now being non-dial-up. Australians have also continued to access increasingly faster download speeds with 71 per cent of access connections offering a download speed of 1.5 megabytes or greater.

Mobile wireless, excluding mobile handset connections, is the fastest-growing technology in internet access, increasing to 3.5 million in June 2010. This is a 21.7 per cent increase from December 2009. As Mr Worthington notes, the popularity of wireless connection also raises questions as to the need for and the viability of the fixed fibre optic national broadband network.

My view and the view of the Greens is that the national broadband fibre network is a good thing, but it is very important to make sure that the NBN is well managed both technically and as a project. The last thing we want to have is outdated technology. Internet connections are a rapidly evolving field technically. It is really important that the right technology is used.

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