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Tuesday, 22 May 2012
Page: 5126

Ms O'NEILL (Robertson) (16:27): I rise to highlight the resounding success of last week's Central Coast Innovation Summit. Attended by more than 210 people, representing industry, education, creative arts and enterprise, this was the second innovation summit to be held on the Central Coast. The keynote speaker for the event was my Labor colleague Senator the Hon. Kate Lundy, Minister Assisting for Industry and Innovation. This year's theme, Creating a knowledge economy: the NBN, was selected as the topic by demand. This vital infrastructure investment is of particular importance to local businesses, who were very keen to hear more about the benefits of the NBN and superfast broadband, which is being fast-tracked on the coast. So great was the interest in the NBN from local industry that questions needed to be taken on notice for further consultation and discussion. The innovation summit attracted a range of high-quality speakers from the university, telecommunications and urban planning sectors. The innovation summit is a key contributor to the Central Cost innovation plan. We are one of 10 strategic regions around the country that are really investing heavily in innovation.

As a region, the Central Coast is somewhat of a pioneer when it comes to delivering an innovation plan. This really highlights the progressive nature of the Central Coast and our willingness to collaborate as a business and industry region. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the architect of innovation on the Central Coast, the chair of the innovation festival, Dr Anton Kriz. He is well assisted in the innovation plan project by the manager, Mr Frank Sammut. I also want to note very much the contribution of Mr Paul Budde. Paul is one of the pre-eminent telecom strategy experts in the world and he is working with the Central Coast broadband infrastructure group to deliver a world-class digital economy strategy. In relation to the summit and the event itself, can I congratulate Mr Chris King, who did a wonderful job as MC for the day which he does at so many of our fantastic local events. I certainly look forward to working with these outstanding leaders, who are recognised for their work at an international level but choose to live and work in the beautiful Central Coast. I also want to thank the sponsors for the event, TAFE, AusIndustry and RDA Central Coast. As I stated earlier, businesses on the Central Coast are very forward thinking and progressive. I look forward to working alongside the creators of the Central Coast Innovation Summit to achieve the outcomes of the innovation plan, because this will change the access to opportunities for people who want to live and work in our region instead of having to go to Sydney for jobs and better pay. The continued growth and prosperity of the Central Coast is reliant on business innovation and investment of national infrastructure, as has been delivered by the Gillard government.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Hon. BC Scott ): Order! In accordance with standing order 193 the time for constituency statements has concluded.