Have your say on smart technology program

Queensland residents are invited to help shape a flagship Australian Government smart technology program for Australian cities and regions.

The $50 million Smart Cities and Suburbs Program will support projects that apply innovative technology and data solutions to fix local problems and make cities, suburbs and towns more liveable.

LNP Senator for Queensland James McGrath said the draft guidelines for the program were open for public consultation until 20 January 2017.

Input from the public and stakeholders is essential to ensure the program is well-designed and makes a practical difference for local communities.

Technologies like sensors, WiFi, control systems, computer-vision software, augmented reality and building management systems are transforming the way cities work all over the world.

Technology has huge potential to improve engagement with citizens, resolve persistent urban problems and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of local government service delivery.

Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation, Angus Taylor, said the program would support projects which put citizens at the centre.

“Smart Cities need to take a people-first approach to public services, using technology to make our communities better places to live,” Assistant Minister Taylor said.

“The Australian Government is committed to working in partnership with governments, business and the community to help our regional and metropolitan cities reach their full potential.”

Following consultation on the guidelines, the first funding round will open in the first half of 2017, with collaborative projects involving local governments, the private sector, research agencies and not for profit organisations expected.

Eligible applicants will be able to apply for up to $5 million in grant funding to meet up to 50 per cent of project costs.

Applicants will be encouraged to submit ambitious and transformational proposals that will be scalable or able to be rolled out quickly to other regions.

“Partnerships are vital to the success of smart city initiatives and will underpin the development and adoption of smart technology,” Assistant Minister Taylor said.

Local governments will be invited to register their interest in participating in a structured incubation program which aims to progress ideas and support the development of innovative smart technology projects.

To help shape the guidelines, visit cities.dpmc.gov.au.