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Australian government calls for smart city solutions

smart city

Proposals on digital and data solutions for local communities are being encouraged in the Federal Government’s $50 million Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.

Draft guidelines for the program were released on Tuesday at the Smart Cities Expo in Sydney by assistant minister for cities Angus Taylor, with stakeholders invited to provide feedback on the guidelines.

Taylor said the program would support projects which put citizens at the centre.

According to the Australian Government, the new program has been welcomed by local government and the tech sector across Australia. Lighting Council Australia CEO Bryan Douglas said it could expand the benefits of technologies such as sensors on street lights that are already being used to help solve crimes.

“Smart street lighting is already playing a vital role in smart cities – not only delivering energy savings of 30 – 40 per cent from lighting that can be dimmed in periods of low traffic, but managing traffic flow, providing parking services and in some parts of the world detecting the precise location, time and characteristics of gunshots,” said Douglas.

Currently, hundreds of sensors on Sydney Harbour Bridge are also collecting road surface information to provide early warnings of problems, and an app allowing easy reporting of potholes or broken playground equipment is helping local councils maintain their equipment.

The Smart Cities and Suburbs Program aims to deploy new ideas not yet seen in Australia, including international smart cities technology.

Eligible applicants are able to apply for up to $5 million in Federal grant funding with the first funding round expected to be opened in the first half of 2017.


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