Page 3335 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 18 September 2013

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The new commonwealth government’s NBN plan involves installing fibre to the node and not fibre to the home. The details of what the new government policy will mean for further roll out of the NBN in Canberra is not clear, as it is contingent on the findings of a number of reviews of telecommunications policy foreshadowed by the coalition. All we know is that the Canberra rollout is likely to slow down or be delayed under the Coalition’s current plans.

As a pioneering step in our journey to promote effective and efficient government, one of the initiatives is the business development strategy, a prize-based innovation competition to engage ACT innovators and SMEs in the development of the new digitally based government services. Our aim is to stimulate innovation in electronic and mobile technologies, in turn helping to improve community access to government and public sector services.

The digital Canberra challenge consists of two competitions a year over three years. Each competition will run for six months. Leading up to each round of the competition, the ACT government directorates as well as the general public will have the opportunity to put forward unresolved business requirements or challenges they consider relevant to the scope of the competition. One to two of the challenges will then be selected and, in turn, ACT innovators and SMEs will be invited to submit conceptual responses. Two collaborative projects will be selected to be developed. Coaching, mentoring and research assistance will be offered to the selected contestants during the course of the projects. The results of each project will be published as a case study. The best case study, as judged by the panel, will receive $12,500 in prize money and the runner up $7,500.

In closing, Madam Deputy Speaker, let me outline our plans for a digital Canberra. The ACT government is currently seeking the community’s views on how we can make Canberra a world-leading digital city. We are interested in thoughts and ideas on how we can capitalise on digital opportunities. We believe Canberra has unique qualities that we can leverage to transform the way we work, do business and access government services.

We are seeking community input on how we can diversify our economy, enable businesses to access new customers and international markets, support digital skills and improve digital literacy, publish open data for use by citizens, and provide better services to the Canberra community. The input we have received already is giving us some good ideas on the development of the digital action plan. We also want to deepen the linkages between researchers, businesses and government so we are truly recognised as a digital city.

MR DOSZPOT (Molonglo) (11.47): I thank Mr Gentleman for his motion today, but I am somewhat surprised that for the entire 15-minute speech that Mr Gentleman just gave on his motion in support of NICTA—by the way, we do support NICTA; we always have—there seemed to be very little emphasis on NICTA. He talked about technology; he talked about technology at length. I just hope that in his presentation Mr Barr will talk about what NICTA actually delivers and why we should be supporting it—which we are.

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