Page 3347 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 18 September 2013

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A key focus for NICTA in Canberra is e-government. The Australian e-government cluster, a combined initiative of the ACT government and NICTA, together with support from the Canberra Business Council and local industry, promotes collaboration between government, industry and research in finding ICT solutions to complex government problems.

NICTA’s Canberra laboratory is teaming up with solar energy experts from the ANU, ActewAGL and local ACT companies Armada Solar and LAROS Technologies to develop ways of predicting the expected power output from rooftop solar energy systems.

Canberra researchers are developing advanced technology to improve the efficiency of off-peak public transport in the ACT with the potential of a dial a ride-type service being offered in the off-peak period. This could have the potential to save millions of dollars in direct costs, as well as reduce carbon emissions. The system could also be helpful to transport disabled, frail and aged persons.

The Canberra-based spectroscopy scheme is exploring ways to help speed up the quarantine process for plant inspection without compromising outcomes by developing new image processing techniques to identify unique plant types, diseases and pests. Last but not least, NICTA’s Canberra researchers are playing an integral part in the development of the first Australian bionic eye through computer vision processing. This project has the potential to replicate the success achieved by the bionic ear.

What Canberra and Australia needs is for the new federal government to also embrace the digital future of Australia and the digital future of our economy. The federal government cannot do that by cutting funding to NICTA, by cutting its visionary and innovative programs that are targeted with a hard-edged business focus. That is small government, small vision and short-sighted government at its worst. I commend this motion to the Assembly.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.31 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

Canberra Hospital—emergency categories

MR HANSON: Madam Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, can you inform the Assembly whether the Canberra Hospital has declared any emergencies known as code yellow or bypass, or other emergency categories, during the Canberra winter?

MS GALLAGHER: They will definitely call different codes throughout the Canberra winter. There is a range of different operational codes that are used from time to time. For example, when the hospital emergency department gets very full and the hospital is full, there are a variety of different responses. They are largely operational, but they certainly will have been used during the winter.

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