At last week’s Ordinary meeting, Council endorsed a landmark strategy for investment in smart technologies and commitment to smart collaboration, planning, design and local services, while aligning with the values of the region, to deliver a vibrant and prosperous economy and community.
The first of its kind, the Scenic Rim Smart Region Strategy 2022-2032 will leverage new technologies, innovation and data to enhance the liveability, workability and sustainability of the region.
Mayor Greg Christensen said the strategy was developed following consultation with local residents and business operators to create a shared vision for the region’s use of new technologies and data and to allow local businesses and communities to embrace and adapt to changing global digital trends.
“Developing the Smart Region Strategy is part of Council’s commitment to long-term sustainability for the region and is outlined in Council’s 2020-2021 Operational Plan. It is also an action within the Scenic Rim Regional Prosperity Strategy 2020-2025,” he said.
“Tangible outcomes like access to reliable, high-speed internet and mobile reception will allow businesses, Council and the community to take full advantage of new and emerging technologies, enhancing the region’s ability to provide rewarding and well-paying jobs, drive business investment and attract future residents and tourists.”
Council recently met with NBN’s Community Engagement Manager for Southern Queensland, Grant Higgs, to discuss the NBN technologies available to the Scenic Rim region, current improvements to the network and opportunities for Council to partner with NBN to address future needs, identify growth areas, including economic growth of the region.
The strategy positions the region to take advantage of the once in a generation opportunity created by the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the South-East Queensland City Deal, and subsequent investment by the Australian and Queensland Governments.
Mayor Christensen said the strategy builds on the region’s existing strengths and aims to promote the adoption of technology and innovation to drive economic growth, without changing the structure and charm of the region and Council will continue to lobby providers to advocate for better connectivity for the region.
“Over the life of the strategy, local businesses will be supported through the proposed access to smart coworking spaces, proactive support of innovation, and training in the skills needed for success in the digital world, such as ecommerce, digital marketing and data analytics.
“The adoption of new technology such as remote sensors, smart digital signage and automated IT systems will improve the efficiency of Council services and enhance the interface between Council and the community.
“It is envisaged that this will allow for increased access to data and information including real-time traffic, facility use, weather, and flood data and will continue to strengthen regional planning and investment decisions and enable more sustainable management of the built and natural environment.
“Residents and visitors will also benefit from the potential to introduce free Wi-Fi across the region’s towns and villages, smart digital signage and digitally interactive public art that will promote more connected communities.”
The Smart Region Strategy 2022-2032 supports Council’s broader vision for the Scenic Rim to be a network of unique rural communities embedded in a productive and sustainable landscape, as outlined in the Scenic Rim Community Plan 2011-2026.
“The Smart Region Strategy is a shared vision for the region’s use of technology and to support the region’s continued transition to a more prosperous, connected, liveable, sustainable, and innovative place, providing a lasting legacy for generations to come,” Mayor Christensen said.
“We are grateful to the Australian Government for its funding through the Building Better Regions Fund, that has enabled us to develop this Smart Region Strategy for the Scenic Rim.”