Tuesday, 24 March 2015
I would like to rise on behalf of the Australian Greens and add a few comments. Arriving myself in this place in mid-2008, Kate had already been here for 12 years, and while I was trying to find my feet I guess it was handy to come across somebody who not only knew the operation and the workings of this place backwards but was also technologically literate and obviously cared about technology—particularly communications technology.
During your valedictory you spoke about the National Broadband Network and how it has been being part of that project from its initiation through various phases and then seeing it, effectively, vandalised and destroyed. I do not know that you went into it in great detail, but I think one of the first things that I came across in your work was the Gov2.0 work, effectively taking the masses of data that government departments produce over time and actually making that legible to the general public, putting it out there, allowing people to find out what is actually happening inside Treasury and what government is doing in our name. You name checked Pia Waugh, and I think you two were certainly a formidable combination.
Your work in promoting the value of information communications technology, whether it be from the economic side—the fact that entire new industries are being created before our eyes—its value to civil society, including global civil society or, indeed, its value to this place as MPs I found highly instructive and quite inspiring.
I am very much looking forward to seeing what you do next now that you are off the chain, maybe freed from some of the things you were prevented by caucus solidarity from being able to say. It was always good to know that there are people on this side of the chamber who get these issues who might not always be able to be as strident—or I think 'hysterical' might have been the phrase used by Senator Ludwig a short time ago.