Riverland Free Wi-Fi Network Questions

The Hon. S.W. KEY (Ashford) (14:31): My question is directed to the Minister for Science and Information Economy. Can the minister inform the house about the initiatives that encourage people who live, work or visit the City of Adelaide to use the new free wi-fi network service when it is up and running early in the new year?

The Hon. S.W. KEY (Ashford) (14:31): My question is directed to the Minister for Science and Information Economy. Can the minister inform the house about the initiatives that encourage people who live, work or visit the City of Adelaide to use the new free wi-fi network service when it is up and running early in the new year?

The Hon. G. PORTOLESI (Hartley—Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills, Minister for Science and Information Economy) (14:31): I thank the member for this question. Adelaide is a vibrant city, and this was recognised with Adelaide being named in the top 10 cities by Lonely Planet this week. Our laneways, such as Leigh, Bank and Peel streets, are coming alive with new small bars and restaurants, and the Riverbank Precinct is set to become a hub for entertainment, sport, culture and excitement. We are also investing in new hubs to bring our entrepreneurs together to spark further innovation and creativity.

Adelaide will be the first capital city in Australia to have comprehensive free wi-fi access in our city's public spaces. The state government is working very well together with the Adelaide City Council and Internode to deliver this fantastic new service. It means that people on the go in the central business district in places like the Adelaide Central Market and along the Riverbank Precinct will have free wireless access to the internet.

I am pleased to report that work is already well underway, and we expect most of the network to be rolled out across the CBD and parts of North Adelaide in time for the Mad March festival season next year. It also means that the thousands of visitors and locals enjoying our city can access news and share their views, images and short videos with friends and relatives locally and around the world.

I am delighted that the state government is investing $1 million into this project, with an additional $500,000 from the Adelaide City Council. This also creates a fantastic opportunity for innovative business, community services, government and our many creative small businesspeople to develop new ways of doing business or to provide information and services.

Today, I can announce the opening of the new Adelaide free wi-fi app development competition. This is a partnership between the state government, Adelaide City Council and Internode, and we are now inviting our best and brightest entrepreneurs to develop innovative mobile applications. We are asking innovators to create apps that are especially relevant to Adelaide and useful for visitors, locals and businesspeople who take advantage of our Adelaide free wi-fi service.

Together with the Adelaide City Council, we are offering up to $20,000 in cash prizes for innovative apps that will add value for Adelaide free wi-fi users. I am pleased that the Majoran Distillery, a creative not-for-profit hub in the city, will also provide the winners with a six-month membership and mentoring support. We know that South Australian app developers will embrace this competition. The South Australian chair of the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association and CEO of the app development company Enable Solutions has said that he has no doubt that the benefits of free wi-fi will be substantial and that this competition is a great incentive for creative people to find new ways to solve current problems. I invite all creative people in South Australia to enter this competition.

 

The Hon. A. Koutsantonis interjecting:

 

The Hon. G. PORTOLESI: Yes—not you, Tom Koutsantonis, Minister for Transport—and continue to build Adelaide as a vibrant city.

 

Mr WHETSTONE: Supplementary.

 

The SPEAKER: Before the supplementary, I call the minister to order for using the Christian and surname of the minister. Supplementary, member for Chaffey.

 

Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (14:35): Minister, why were the six Riverland towns denied free wi-fi funding?

The Hon. G. PORTOLESI (Hartley—Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills, Minister for Science and Information Economy) (14:35): I am very happy to sit down with the member for Chaffey to talk about the wi-fi situation in the Riverland. What I was speaking about earlier is this fantastic initiative that is occurring in the city—the first in the nation. I don't know if the member has corresponded with me in relation—have you corresponded with me in relation to this matter?

Members interjecting:

The Hon. G. PORTOLESI: He hasn't. But anyway, the point is that there is room for wi-fi in the Riverland, there is room for wi-fi in Adelaide. I am happy to work with the member for Chaffey to address his issues in the Riverland.

The SPEAKER: Before a second supplementary is asked, I warn the Minister for Transport for the second and final time. I also call to order the member for Goyder. Member for Chaffey.

Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (14:36): Minister, the Riverland is the first region in Australia to have free wi-fi. It has already been installed, without the help of the state government.

The SPEAKER: Minister. There is no question there, okay.

The Hon. L.W.K. BIGNELL (Mawson—Minister for Tourism, Minister for Recreation and Sport) (14:36): There wasn't a question, but we do appreciate the work that the local council has done in the Riverland to put in free wi-fi for people who visit there. It complements what is happening here in—

Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: Point of order. Mr Speaker, you just ruled there was no question there. What is the Minister for Tourism doing?

The SPEAKER: I call the member for Stuart to order for a purely opportunistic point of order. The member for Chaffey made an utterance that was in order because I called him. If it wasn't in interrogative form, nevertheless any minister on the front bench can respond to it. The Minister for Tourism chose to respond to it and therefore he is in order. Now, I did not call him, that is true, but normally he is the best behaved minister in waiting for the call and those ministers who were roaring that there was no question there were all out of order; they weren't ruling on the question. Minister for Tourism, feel free to take your whole four minutes.

The Hon. L.W.K. BIGNELL: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I would like to congratulate the local government in the Riverland which has worked to put in the free wi-fi. It is a very important thing for tourists who come to South Australia. When I have been up there I have met with a lot of French backpackers and people who don't have a lot of money while they are travelling and if they can get on and get the free wi-fi while they are out picking grapes and seeing our great state and using the free wi-fi to check in on social media to tell everyone about the great beauty of the Riverland, the fantastic river and the jobs that they can do in helping pick fruit up there and pick grapes, then I think it is a wonderful thing. So, congratulations to the Riverland for being pioneers in wi-fi. I also congratulate the state government for working on bringing free wi-fi to the CBD, it is terrific.

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