Territory Stories

Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 November 1999



Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 November 1999

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Parliamentary Record 20


Debates for 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Tuesday 23 November 1999 want to do in the future. We have had a whole lot of pretty warm and smarmy words through some of these statements. We are all going to have this wonderful future, particularly with Aboriginal people, and suddenly were all going to work in partnerships. Okay, heres another context were talking about. Were talking about the commercial developments, the economic developments through, amongst other things, the linking of peoples knowledge and the application of that to economic ends. That does requirement partnerships. It should be acknowledged as the highest priority. You simply cant treat knowledge as this depersonalised commodity that you use to your hearts content. It has people attached to it, and the people have then- own view of their place in the community. What youre really talking about is our future together as a community or a society within the place we call the Territory. Dont take my word for all this. Theres a massive amount of academic writings on this very subject. From whichever side of philosophy you want to draw, the left or right or the middle, the story is generally the same. Whether you want to say that the individual is predominant and gets on in life through their own efforts or whether the community or the communal identity is more important and that we have to work together to get ahead - it doesnt matter which way you look at it. All interpretations will say that you have to solve the social problems to get to the use of the knowledge or to gain any advantage in a society. With that I fmish my remarks, Mr Deputy Speaker. M r ADAMSON (School Education): Mr Deputy Speaker, the Deputy Chief Minister so clearly points out that the largest growth sector within the service industry is information technology and communications. In this new information age, the focus is and will continue to be on the IT&T sector, although education services fed by the new technology will continue to play an important role. I will touch on some of those particular items from the governments point of view and pick up some of the comments made by those members opposite who are very lacking in their presence at the moment. I will certainly pick up on a couple of those comments, although I did find some of them a little bit rambling to say the least. However, I digress. International borders and distances will continue to shrink under the pressure from this new technology with the challenge being for the Northern Territory and Territorians to recognise themselves and ourselves as being part of the global market. This is an issue that is currently being pursued by the governments own IT&T areas. It forms a major focus in Foundations for Our Future. Already the Territory is well on the way to becoming a key player in this hi-tech area. What were talking about here is how we can actually get some of these things to happen. In other words, we are trying to come up with the answers. All we have heard from the other side today is talk about what may happen, but not how we go about it. The Office of Communications, Science and Advance Technology, OCSAT, is playing a major role in this area by establishing an electronic gateway to the Northern Territory which is known as the NT portal, which was mentioned earlier by the Deputy Chief Minister. OCSAT has been working closely with the Commonwealth government to develop a single view of the three tiers of government through the Govnet project. This is a project to expand the electronic presence of the Northern Territory and to improve trust and confidence for the community in the Internet. The Northern Territory is participating with other jurisdictions in this national government pilot project. Potential for that particular project and its flow-ons will be extremely positive for not only all Australians but for Territorians generally, not only in the major urban centres, but in remote areas as well. However, consumer confidence is the key to advancing electronic commerce, and governments must lead by example through the establishment of on-line access to deliver many of our services electronically. For this to be successful, a significant area being addressed by all levels of government is the development of appropriate policy and regulation. OCSAT will work with other government agencies, both at the federal and the local level, to develop policies, standards, principles and also the regulatory frameworks to encourage growth in the use of electronic business and the Internet. Consistent and complementary legislation is planned to provide a seamless national electronic environment. Those discussions take place on a regular basis, both at officer level and also ministerial level, particularly through the on-line council which met in Alice Springs just a couple of weeks ago. In addition, an ongoing requirement for development, the maintenance of the technical infrastructure needed, and with the electronic economy predicted to grow past the sum total output for the agricultural and industrial sectors by 2003, the connection of remote communities to a reliable communications network is imperative and I dont think that anyone in this place would