Page 3470 - Week 11 - Thursday, 24 September 2015

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As everyone in the Assembly knows, I strongly support using digital technology to improve government services. Our new business unit, Access Canberra, is leading the way. Since the creation of Access Canberra last year we have made substantial progress in delivering better and more convenient services by increasing the provision of digital services. For the first time you can now renew a variety of licences online. Canberrans can nominate to receive rates and land tax notices electronically, make stamp duty payments, and even book and pay for ACTION charter buses online. Access Canberra has also begun consolidating several hundred web pages of information to make government information simple, intuitive and accessible. The days of complicated and inaccessible consumer information are on the way out.

Whilst Canberra is the most technologically aware and digitally connected city in Australia, it remains important that access to these technologies and the internet are widely and equitably available. The Canberra free wi-fi network, being built in partnership with iiNet, will be one of the largest high quality, free public networks in Australia. To give you a sense of what it provides, Madam Speaker, the service will deliver 250 megabytes per user per day, which equates to around an hour of video content, 50 photographs at five megabytes each or 50 songs at five megabytes each. Obviously, these are numbers which vary depending on the size and quality of the data being downloaded, but 250 megabytes per user per day, which is 7.5 gigabytes per month, is an exceptionally large bandwidth allocation being made freely available to all users of the Canberra free wi-fi.

Already the service is available in Canberra city. It will be in Dickson, Manuka and Belconnen by November this year. By June 2016, the build of the Canberra free wi-fi network will be complete and available in all of our city’s major town centres.

During the development of the digital action plan, the community expressed a desire for the development of a digital smart parking service that will provide real-time information through smart phone apps and appropriate signage to guide drivers to available parking spaces. As a result, we have committed to a 12-month trial of smart parking technologies. To ensure the best technological outcome, we have engaged NICTA as a strategic adviser for the trial of smart parking. I am pleased to announce that the smart parking trial will be in Manuka. We aim to commence it early in 2016. This provides an ideal mix of on and off-street parking as well as paid and time limited parking. The intent is to maximise the effective use of parking spaces in Manuka through the use of technology for the benefit of those arriving by car, the benefit of the local community and, importantly also, the benefit of local business.

This is a practical and easy to adopt system that will make everyone’s lives easier as they navigate to find a car park in one of our busier shopping areas. It will also increase the number of people willing and able to access businesses, which will lead directly to higher trading turnover. We will be consulting closely with the Manuka community, including residents and local traders, as we settle the parameters for the pilot trial to ensure the community is engaged and supportive.

High-speed broadband and digital connectedness are important for us as individuals but are even more important for our goal of diversifying our city’s economy by

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