Page 3522 - Week 11 - Thursday, 24 September 2015

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MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, can you provide examples of Canberra businesses who have successfully tapped into the US market?

MR BARR: Three particular examples that I would like to highlight this afternoon include Seeing Machines, QuintessenceLabs and Aspen Medical. Seeing Machines develops smart camera-based technologies for detecting driver fatigue and distraction behind the wheel. They were recently awarded BRW’s most innovative product and medium-sized business award in 2015. They have a research and development facility in Mountain View, California working closely with their Canberra operations. Seeing Machine’s US-based customers include global companies such as Caterpillar and Boeing. Seeing Machines technology is currently used in semi-autonomous vehicles in large mining applications.

QuintessenceLabs is a global leader in its field. It provides innovative solutions in cybersecurity, one of the fastest growing opportunities and, of course, one of the biggest challenges in the online and mobile world. The company has an operating subsidiary operating from San Jose in California. QuintessenceLabs Inc has major opportunities in the US and has successfully engaged in partnerships and sales to the defence sector, US federal agencies and numerous US enterprises. Pleasingly, in June 2015 the Westpac Banking Corporation, the lead investor in capital raising for QuintessenceLabs, became an 11 per cent owner of the company and became the company’s highest profile customer.

Aspen Medical is, of course, well known to all of us here. It is a well-known Canberra business and a national export award winner. It has a team of over 2,200 people and operates across Australasia, the Pacific Rim, the Middle East, the UK, Canada and the United States. Today the company has customers in the government, defence, mining and resources, oil and gas, and humanitarian sectors. It is looking to expand its operations in Texas and has a presence in San Antonio. (Time expired.)

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, why is it important to support businesses expanding into overseas markets?

MADAM SPEAKER: I am sorry. I missed the beginning of that question, Dr Bourke. Could you repeat it, please?

DR BOURKE: Why is it important to support businesses expanding into overseas markets?

MR BARR: Exporting, of course, opens new markets, contributes to business expansion, spreads risks, reduces dependence on local markets and, to put it simply, in a small economy like ours—

Opposition members interjecting—

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