Page 962 - Week 03 - Thursday, 10 April 2014

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The innovation network will reach out to emerging companies and entrepreneurs located in the proposed hub and assist those entrepreneurs to develop the skills they need to grow and create wealth. The government sees this is as a connective service model being replicated across the ACT—perhaps at the space and spatial industry precinct at Mount Stromlo, the sports and health precincts at the University of Canberra, the IT precinct at NICTA, the life sciences precinct at Black Mountain or at a potential incubator in city west.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, how will the future stages of the digital challenge enhance Canberra’s role as a digital city?

MR BARR: The digital challenge is an initiative of the business development strategy and aligns with the government’s broader digital Canberra agenda. It aims to stimulate innovation in electronic and mobile technologies and in turn help improve community access to government and public sector services. It brings ACT government agencies and our innovation community together to develop solutions for real, live service issues.

It features two competition rounds a year over three years. The first round was finished just last month and was a great success. It demonstrated that there was a keen interest amongst the general public as well as members of the ACT public service in putting forward unresolved business requirements or challenges, that there is an ample supply of talent within the ACT innovation community and that collaboration between the government, the innovation community and the broader business community has proven to be a very effective way of tapping into the potential of Canberra as a digital city. I am sure future rounds will produce proof-of-concept prototypes with demonstrated commercial potential to help improve government and public sector services and to continue to build on our city’s reputation as a centre of innovation in the delivery of government and public sector services.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Treasurer, has the government considered compensation for any businesses in the city centre that have already set up public wi-fi networks?

MR BARR: No, the government has not. The addition of additional wi-fi capability within the CBD is a good thing. Whether that provision comes by way of a telco or a private sector provider wanting to expand beyond the borders of their physical premise is a fact of life, Mr Coe. Your suggestion that somehow wi-fi be contained within a commercial precinct is somewhat laughable.

I know the Liberal Party has a particular objection to the rollout of this new technology. In fact, what we have seen from Minister Turnbull in relation to the latest on the national broadband network is that the Turnbull federal Liberal version is not national, nor is it broadband and nor is it a network. It is a farce what is being proposed. They are already breaking their commitments in relation to what will be

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