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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 24 September 2015) . . Page.. 3473 ..


engagement with the digital economy and help businesses access new customers and markets. The action plan also seeks to grow our economy, engage with our citizens more openly and efficiently, allow government to be more open and transparent, and continue to meet the needs of our highly educated and connected community. Digital Canberra is a priority government initiative. It is a statement of Canberra’s digital aspirations, principles and actions that reflect our innovative city and show we are ready to embrace the future and enable our community to connect, create and lead.

Yesterday we passed a motion in this place about the national broadband network and how it is a critical component of the ACT government’s digital Canberra strategy to directly improve the productivity, connectivity and liveability of our city. We ask the ACT government to continue to invest in Canberra’s future through digital Canberra.

That is why I am so pleased to speak after the statement delivered this morning by the Chief Minister, who again has shown he leads a government that has a vision for our city that has strong foundations in the technology of the future. We are undoubtedly a service economy here in the ACT, but we are also a knowledge-based economy and our government’s digital approach will accelerate the development of a high growth digital economy that offers more opportunity to more people. It helps us to keep giving more people better health and education services and better use of data to improve people’s lives.

One way we are adapting to new technology is through the trial of smart parking, as the Chief Minister announced this morning. Smart parking is all about delivering real-time information on parking availability to help guide motorists to available parking spaces. Information on parking availability is collected by sensors, which allows people to see where a free park might be on a smart phone app, for example, or intelligent real-time traffic signs. People can then be guided to an available parking space. Real-time information on parking congestion will be captured through in-ground sensors and relayed to the app and signs.

It is great to see the announcement today that the trial will commence early next year in Manuka. I really believe that this will be a practical solution to a problem that can be time consuming and stressful. Smart parking will also offer advantages to Manuka’s retailers as improved turnover of parking spaces will give shoppers greater access and more convenience and efficiency. I look forward to watching this trial take place, and I am sure we will learn a lot from it.

Madam Speaker, I think this trial will highlight the practical benefits of a more digital Canberra for people as they go about their everyday lives. Digital Canberra does not need to be complicated; indeed, its very aim is to simplify our processes and make our lives easier.

Another great initiative is the CBRfree public wi-fi that is being rolled out across the city. This will be one of the largest high quality free public networks in Australia once fully operational, and allows people to use up to 250 megabytes per user per day—that is a pretty large bandwidth allocation—for free. CBRfree is already available in the city and will soon be available in Dickson, Belconnen and Manuka. In mid next year it will also be up and running in all the other town centres, including Gungahlin, which is very exciting.


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