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Call for Liberal Government to Act on Online Access Centres

Andrea Dawkins

Andrea Dawkins  -  Thursday, 29 October 2015

Tags: Internet Access

Andrea Dawkins On tomorrow to move -

That this House notes:

1.      With disappointment the proposal by the Liberal government to review and potentially close 21 Online Access Centres around the State;

2.      That many of these Centres receive over 100 visits from patrons each month;

3.      The adverse effect closure will have, particularly for regional areas, for the patrons of the Centres as many do not own a computer of their own or are aged and rely on the Centres for assistance with information technology;

4.      The additional technology that is utilised by patrons of Online Access Centres, such as fax machines, printers, laminating services and other digital services;

5.      That the messy rollout of the NBN has seen many regional locations without internet access and as such Online Access Centres are vital even for those who travel some distance to patronise them;

6.      The additional strain the closure of the Centres will have on people – of varying ages – attempting to complete online educational courses;

7.      The valued work of both the paid staff and the volunteers at the Centres and the assistance they provide to many people who struggle with information technology;

8.      The importance of a funded position of a coordinator at each centre to ensure the smooth running of the Centre and organisation of volunteers to ensure efficient time management;

9.      The ongoing struggle of some of the Centres potentially facing the Liberal chopping block to glean information pertinent to their future;

10. The uncertainty the dribs-and-drabs of funding commitments that is placed upon the staff, volunteers and patrons of many of the Centres around the State; and

Further, that this House:

11. Calls on Minister for Education and Training, Jeremy Rockliff, to ensure the review is completed in a timely fashion so as to provide information to those he has kept in the dark for over 12 months and to take into account the views of those at the coalface and ensure Online Access Centres that are regularly patronised and badly needed in regional areas are funded on and into the future.