Page 3340 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 18 September 2013
their smart phones, I would be happy to show them how it works. Using the fix-my-street section, you can report potholes, long grass, dumped trolleys, graffiti or trees that need to be pruned—pretty much everything you currently write to my office about.
TAMS is also currently trialling the innovative NXTBUS project. NXTBUS is a real-time passenger information system that will monitor the location of all ACTION buses during operation, allowing real-time information to be provided to passengers via digital displays located at bus stations and major bus stops, via the internet and, I think for most people’s real interest, via their mobile devices. The system will provide passengers with improved options when planning their travel and is expected to increase patronage across the ACTION network. TAMS has already invested $12.5 million in this project, and we expect it to be fully operational by the end of this year.
These are the kinds of innovations that are possible with stable and strategic investment in research and innovation. NICTA is the type of organisation that should attract stable funding as a strategic investment in our future benefit. It should concern all Canberrans that the federal government has chosen to forgo such an investment in a short-sighted round of funding cuts.
MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Minister for Tourism and Events and Minister for Community Services) (12.03): I thank Mr Gentleman very much for bringing this motion forward today, for his ongoing interest in this area. I certainly thank him for his passion for representing his community in Tuggeranong and particularly for his very strong advocacy to bring a national broadband network to Tuggeranong. I know he is a very supportive member when it comes to promoting Canberra’s ICT agenda, both in terms of our digital city agenda and also the economic development opportunities that come from further investment in ICT. I thank Mr Gentleman very much for his passion and for his commitment on this issue and for bringing the motion forward today.
I would like to spend a little time touching on the importance of technology to our city’s future and the role of the government in fostering and supporting this important sector. More than ever before, technology, and in particular, information and communication technologies, are recognised as key drivers of innovation, of economic growth, of prosperity and, importantly, of social wellbeing. ICT are critical technologies. They are pervasive, embedded and ubiquitous. They have a major impact on the creation and improvement of new products and the creation of systems for services.
They have been responsible globally for the largest transformation of the world economy since the industrial revolution. An innovative and integrated ICT industry is essential to the territory’s knowledge-based economy. ICT is a critical enabling technology which underpins other important industry sectors within the ACT such as defence, security, education, environment, health and even tourism. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine any area of economic activity, including the role of government itself, that has not been impacted by ICT.