NSW government to partner with councils to develop ‘smart places’

By Shannon Jenkins

Monday December 21, 2020


The New South Wales government has called on state government agencies and local councils to take part in a project that aims to accelerate the development of ‘smart places’ across NSW.

The state government on Monday said it would co-invest up to $45 million over three years to deliver its Smart Places Acceleration Program — a key aspect of the Smart Places Strategy.

Smart places are “where the physical and digital environments converge”, according to the strategy.

Under the acceleration program, the state government will partner with place-owners — government agencies, property owners, councils, and regional organisations — to speed up the adoption of smart technologies and capabilities in their areas.

Aside from encouraging partnerships with and co-investment from local councils and industry to deliver smart place initiatives, the government hopes the program will support economic and community recovery post-pandemic, and ensure NSW is the leading state in implementing smart places initiatives.

The project will connect and empower communities by driving investment in new technology and data, according to customer service minister Victor Dominello.

“We want to use technology to make life easier for people. Whether it’s busting congestion or improving health outcomes, this funding is about strengthening communities,” he said in a statement.

Read more: Smart city or not? Now you can see how yours compares

The government is calling on relevant organisations to come forward with ideas and initiatives that respond to communities’ priorities across the state. To access the program, place-owners will need to show how they can meet and apply the foundational requirements outlined in the strategy.

Initial initiatives that have been progressing aim to address issues regarding parking, water recycling, mobile coverage, and managing kerbside open space.

Local government minister Shelley Hancock noted other improvements for communities could include the introduction of smart CCTV to reduce crime, and reducing water usage through the use of real-time meters.

“I encourage councils across the state to put their thinking caps on and get involved in this innovative project,” she said.

Read more: Councils urged to bake digital rights into smart cities as CCTV and facial recognition raise fears


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