Page 3388 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Canberra community. Not only does NICTA provide jobs and training in highly skilled and specialised fields but it provides research and development that will help governments and citizens in Canberra and around Australia and will also attract research and develop funding for the territory. He also said the ACT government regards NICTA as a key partner in our desire to establish Canberra as a centre for world-class ICT research, commercialisation, business development and usage. Integral to the government’s vision are the research capabilities at our universities, the business acumen of our locally grown and ACT-based multinational ICT firms and the buying in of our national and local government agencies.

On 21 February the minister was pleased to announce that the ACT government has made the in-principle decision to enter into a new four-year funding agreement with NICTA. That proposed arrangement was $12 million in funding. It consisted of grants and payroll tax waivers over a four-year period, a direct investment in the territory’s economic future and delivering excellence in ICT research to create future wealth and commercial outcomes for Australia.

NICTA has five major research laboratories. One is in Canberra, supporting our local economy and growing jobs in Canberra. The proposed funding increase was $1.8 million over the current funding arrangement. It builds significantly on the significant support the ACT has already provided to NICTA. It is perhaps worth reminding members that, as the minister said at the time, we are a founding member of NICTA, and the government’s contribution has been a total of $26.35 million over the past decade.

We are doing things using technology that could not have been dreamed of when NICTA was set up over a decade ago. That is the beauty of NICTA. It ensures we foster the vision and expertise in world-beating ICT here in Australia. It is creating new career paths and new industries for Australians that will keep our economy punching above our weight—the Australian economy and the Canberra economy.

That is why the members on the other side should support this amendment. That is why the Leader of the Opposition should make a public statement unequivocally condemning the proposed cuts to NICTA.

Mr Hanson interjecting—

DR BOURKE: Do you think they are funny?

Mr Hanson: I think you’re funny.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Dr Bourke, sit down for a second. Members of the opposition, next one to speak will get warned.

DR BOURKE: Thank you, Mr Assistant Speaker. The members on the other side should support this motion. They should use their influence with their former leader and the federal branch of their party for the good of this country and for the good of Canberra. We are calling on the new federal government to embrace the digital future of Australia and the digital future of our economy. We should send a unanimous

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video