Australian Government Awards Geelong with Smart Cities Grant

As a part of a $28.5 million initiative by the Australian Government, Geelong is the latest city to be awarded a technology grant to “switch on” the city.

Geelong’s Smart Technology Project has been announced as one of 52 successful projects under round one of the government’s inaugural Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.

Under the program, funding will flow to communities across Australia, with 40 per cent of successful projects located in regional areas such as Geelong, Darwin and North Lakes.

The City of Greater Geelong will partner with the federal government and private businesses to install “smart street furniture”, which will provide free high speed wifi across the city, LED street lights with the capacity to boost brightness to reduce street crime, parking sensors to indicate parking availability, air and water quality sensors, as well as touch-screens and a public address system.

According to Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation, Angus Taylor MP smart street furniture will literally “switch on” the city and this will allow residents and visitors to plug directly into a range of technologies.

These technologies include electric car charging, digital signage to assist the tourism sector and street lights with sensors that react to anti-social behaviour.

[Related reading: Resistance is Futile: How IoT Technologies are Adding Value to Commercial Buildings]

“The Smart Cities and Suburbs Program wants to support clever ideas that fix local problems like street crime and lack of connectivity, and that can be replicated in other places, particularly in the outer suburbs of our cities and the regions.” Taylor said.

Another key capability of the technology is that it allows the collection of real-time data on what’s happening within the city, which according to Member for Corangamite, Sarah Henderson will give local planners a great head-start.

In addition to the Australian Government’s $415,000 contribution, the City of Greater Geelong and private partners have jointly contributed $518,000 to see the project become a reality.

 

The Geelong grant comes days after both Moreton Bay Regional Council, the City of Darwin and the City of Perth were also granted funds under the Smart Technology Project initiative.

Moreton Bay Regional Council were granted $450,000 to improve parking in the emerging suburb of North Lakes which is located 29km north of Brisbane’s CBD.

Local streets will be upgraded to include digital street signage to tell drivers how many free carparks are available on each street. A smart phone app is also being developed to show a virtual map of free and occupied spaces to help give drivers real time information.

Perth was among the 52-Australia wide cities chosen, with a federal government grant of $6 million to fund a driverless electric bus, renewable energy generation and an irrigation trial among other projects.

Darwin has been awarded a grant of $5 million which will assist in securing an economy-boosting Darwin City Deal.

The City of Darwin will partner with the Northern Territory Government to install CCTV cameras at entrances to the city, along Daly Street and Bennett Street. Street lighting will be upgraded to LED lighting and on “smart” columns with the capacity to adjust lighting to reduce street crime.

[Related reading: Australian Company Reinvents the Street Light]

In Bicentennial Park, smart lighting will include sound monitoring to detect people in distress and potentially notify policy and emergency services. The free wifi network will be expanded in key tourist and shopping areas. Smart parking sensors will indicate available parking and reduce congestion and emissions.

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