MOTOROLA SMART ZONE SYSTEM
The Hon. I. M. MACDONALD [7.22 a.m.]: I direct my comments to the Leader of the Government representing, in effect, the Premier. Is the Minister aware that there is considerable industry concern at the outcome of the Government's decision to award the $70 million State mobilnet contract to the United States of America's giant company Motorola with its Smart Zone APCO25 system? I would like the Minister to ascertain for the House why the Government chose this proprietory option which will not be able to communicate with the non-proprietory MPT1327 system adopted in other States, especially Victoria and which has also been adopted in Asia and Europe. Another concern raised by small manufacturing high-tech companies is why the Motorola system was chosen when its standard excludes Australian manufacturing and ensures that jobs and profit will flow to Motorola's Malaysian plant? Motorola does not manufacture in Australia.
It is the concern of many businessmen that this decision seems to be based upon an ideological antagonism towards Telecom and its non-proprietorial system. A non-proprietorial system enables many manufacturers in Australia to participate in buying hardware through the various forms of telephones that can be used and inserted in that system. The Motorola Smart Zone system has its own proprietorial
system that no one can interconnect with. Finally, could the Minister ascertain the facts of the situation and indicate whether he is concerned that the inevitable consequence of this potentially wasteful decision will be the isolation of the mobilnet communication New South Wales in the lead up to the internationally focused Olympic Games when trunked radio will be vital.
Down the track the problem could be quite severe. The contract runs for five years, but because it is proprietorial and because of the amount of hardware involved it will be virtually impossible to switch over at the end of 1998 when the contract runs out. It is almost certain that for economic reasons it would be impossible for the contract to remain in place into the next century. I and those who have contacted me find it difficult to understand why such a closed system was chosen. The United States standard has not even been determined, but I am sure a non-proprietorial system will be chosen because in that country emphasis is placed on non-proprietorial computer or other communications systems so that everyone can have access to them.
The Hon. Dr B. P. V. Pezzutti: They are either IBM compatible or not.
The Hon. I. M. MACDONALD: The Hon. Dr B. P. V. Pezzutti can put it whatever way he likes, but first he needs a decent sleep. The APCO25 system is a closed circuit system. The decision taken in Victoria in September last year, with other States following up this particular system, means there will be no interconnection. With Asia choosing the MPT1327 as its system, which is spreading throughout that region -
The Hon. Dr B. P. V. Pezzutti: Which countries? Would you like to name them?
The Hon. I. M. MACDONALD: Most of the Asian countries. I shall not name them now, but I will provide the honourable member with the information later. In Europe the other standard is being used extensively. I ask that question and hope that the Minister can give me an answer.
Motion agreed to.
House adjourned at 7.26 a.m., Friday, until Tuesday, 9th November, 1993, at 2.30 p.m.