Smart Cities grant connects towns in Alexandrina
Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie has welcomed the news that the Alexandrina Council has won a $100,000 grant to makes some of its smaller towns and tourism precincts more connected through digital technology.
The Federal Government grant is one of 52 allocated across Australia (six in South Australia) under Round One of the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.
Alexandrina Council is adding nearly $120,000 to its grant allocation so it can deliver public Wi-Fi to the business centres of Langhorne Creek, Port Elliot, Milang, Mount Compass, Strathalbyn and Goolwa and collect publicly available data that can be used by businesses and tourism bodies for market research.
“When I heard about Smart Cities and Suburbs last year I made sure to let all the Councils in Mayo know about it because it is such a useful program for helping regional communities pursue the type of digital projects that are usually only seen in metropolitan areas,” Rebekha said.
“I think it’s really exciting that Alexandrina Council is going to provide public Wi-Fi so residents and tourists can have free, reliable access to the information available online through the Council web services, and various tourism organisations and businesses.
“Communities from the Lower Lakes and surrounding districts were hit hard by the 2006-2010 Millennium Drought when visitors retreated with the water.
“The tourism sector is bouncing back with a vengeance, and with the smart phone the most popular device for discovering where to go and what to do, it’s commendable that the Council is trying to make internet access easy and reliable.
“And when you consider the distances that residents have to travel to access services in different towns, it’s encouraging to see the Council being innovative about making its services more accessible.”
Alexandrina Mayor Keith Parkes said his Council’s $220,000 project would encourage social cohesion between the towns and rebuild economic resilience.
“The benefit to local business groups, and tourism bodies and organisations, to use data analytics to gauge visitor movement and behaviour is well documented and also an advantage of the technology available to us when rolling out this project,” he said.
“Alexandrina Council needs to be at the forefront of regional councils in adopting smart technologies if it is to attract new residents.”
The Smart Cities and Suburbs Program is offering $50 million in matched-funding grants in various rounds over three years.