Paul Fletcher MP

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Monday, 15 December 2014 00:00

Hour of Code

Over the weekend I took part in ‘Hour of Code’, a global initiative designed to get school students involved in computer coding – and one which has had a strong response in Australia. It has been designed as an introduction to computer science, “to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics,” the organisers say.

This last week saw the issue of the 2013-14 Communications Report from the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

The report - which is produced each year by the government agency which oversees the Australian communications sector - contains some fascinating data about how Australians are using the internet and mobile communications devices.

Three things really stand out.

Monday, 10 November 2014 00:00

The Prime Minister's speech on JJC Bradfield

Last week’s Bradfield oration, delivered by the Prime Minister, was a fitting tribute to the visionary Australian engineer, Dr JJC Bradfield – the man after whom the electorate of Bradfield is named.

The Bradfield Oration was organised by the Daily Telegraph, to mark the enormous contribution made by Dr Bradfield to the city of Sydney, and to our nation.  His far sighted vision was critical to the provision of many facilities and services we use and take for granted today, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the city circle underground rail loop, and the electrification of the Sydney suburban railway system.

The Herald Sun this week reported on a new study on teenage bullying – including cyberbullying.

Several hundred teenagers in Victoria, in Year 7 and Year 9, were interviewed for the study.

According to Australian Catholic University Professor Sheryl Hemphill, more than 20 per cent of girls in the study reported being cyberbullied in the last year.

In the technology sector around the world, ‘startup’ companies form a critically important part of the growth cycle.

A startup is a company formed, from scratch, typically with the aim of commercialising some technology. 

The rear cover of the new book ‘Sexts, Texts and Selfies’ notes that ‘Soon enough, every parent will have to discuss online safety with their children’. When you read this excellent book by renowned cyber-safety expert Susan McLean you quickly understand why.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014 00:00

Is technology eating jobs?

As technology proceeds at a rapid pace, what does that mean for the future of work?  Will we see more and more jobs disappear?  And what if nothing comes along to replace them?

The Sydney Morning Herald online yesterday afternoon published an article by Ben Grubb which reports on a panel discussion held early last week, hosted by the NSW Law Society, on the subject “Cyber bullying: Individual rights in a digital age”. This morning a brief piece, summarised from Ben’s article, ran in the print edition.

Yesterday’s speech by Business Council of Australia President Catherine Livingstone, entitled Vision for a Competitive Australia, makes an important contribution to the national economic policy debate. Ms Livingstone argues that after two decades of growth – driven by an economic reform process and by a resources boom – we face the question of how to achieve continuing growth and maintain our national prosperity.

There is a lot of talk about ‘big data’ at the moment – the idea that it is now possible to capture large numbers of observations, and to manipulate the data and capture insights, in a way that could previously not be done.

Authorised by Paul Fletcher MP, Level 2, 280 Pacific Highway Lindfield NSW 2070.

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