Digital planning for regional Victoria is now underway11/04/2018
Work to help create digital plans for each of Victoria’s nine regions is well underway.
An overall investment of more than $1 million is being put towards the digital plans which will bring together the most comprehensive and up-to-date information on each region’s digital infrastructure and services.
The government is working closely with the nine Regional Partnership’s to develop a digital plan tailored to address the specific needs and priorities of their region.
Many regional Victorians face a digital disadvantage when it comes to access and use of to quality digital infrastructure and services.
The approach includes investigative fieldwork and mapping of current services including mobile coverage, improved fixed broadband for businesses, and digital hubs and co-working spaces.
Each region of Victoria is unique in its key industries, population, geography and digital infrastructure so individual plans are needed to recognise and make the best of these features and assets.
The government is undertaking significant investment in overall digital connectivity in regional Victoria, with the Victorian Budget 2017/18 including $45 million for the Connecting Regional Communities Program.
This funding was in direct response to the community following all nine Regional Partnerships calling for improvements to digital infrastructure.
The first iterations of the digital plans are to be finalised by mid-2018.
More information can be found at economicdevelopment.vic.gov.au/connecting-victoria, or on the fact sheet below, or follow @RD_Vic on Twitter for updates.
What the Regional Partnerships have to say about the digital plans:
Chair of the Barwon Regional Partnership, Kylie Warne
"This project provides another step towards realising the Barwon Regional Partnership priority for increasing internet capacity and access to digital learning and cloud-based resources to improve education outcomes and job creation”
“This is critical for the Barwon region in support of our young people, leveraging our competitive advantages and creating jobs and industries for the future."
Chair of the Central Highlands Regional Partnership, George Fong
“We have long been aware that the digital divide still exists in our regions – the Central Highlands Regional Partnership is proud to be taking a lead advocacy role on behalf of all the Partnerships”
“The approach to creating the local plans includes investigative fieldwork and mapping of current services including mobile coverage, improved fixed broadband for businesses, and digital hubs and co-working spaces for our region.”
Chair of the Gippsland Regional Partnership, Maree McPherson
“Gippsland has formed a Connectivity Governance Group consisting of local business people who can offer an 'on the ground' perspective of our regions digital needs”
“One of our highest priorities from our Regional Assembly and stakeholder engagement has been digital connectivity”
“We are pleased that in partnership with the Committee for Gippsland that work has commenced and look forward to a local plan that will identify digital needs and aid government support to improve digital access across our region.”
Chair of the Goulburn Regional Partnership, David McKenzie
“At the 2017 Assembly, the Goulburn Regional Partnership had the opportunity to hear about the community's experience of digital connectivity in the region”
“The Goulburn Digital Plan is the first step towards addressing some of these issues and creating a better digital future for the region”
“The Goulburn Partnership is proud to support this project.”
Chair, Great South Coast Digital Working Group, Cr Anita Rank
“Many parts of our region are in population decline so to help attract people to the region we need to be ahead of game for innovation and digital connectivity.”
Chair of the Loddon Campaspe Regional Partnership, Nigel McGuckian
“Digital connectivity is essential for the Loddon Campaspe region”
“We are looking forward to the benefits a digital plan will bring in helping to address mobile blackspots and improve digital connectivity.”
Chair of the Mallee Regional Partnership, Win Scott
"Our communities have been telling us that connectivity is an issue for both mobile and broadband – now we know where the issues are and we can work with all tiers of government to do something about it"
"Digital connectivity will enable our businesses and industry to innovate and compete globally on a level playing field.”
Chair of the Ovens Murray Regional Partnership, Irene Grant
"Improving digital connectivity is a key regional priority and the development of an Ovens Murray Digital Plan has been enthusiastically supported, with more than 10 community and business representatives from across the region attending a recent workshop to assist the project team.”
Chair of the Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership, David Jochinke
“The Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership are focussed on establishing decent coverage region-wide to support improved productivity and innovation in our key agricultural, business and research sectors”
“In addition, we recognise that by lifting the region’s digital uptake and infrastructure, we hope to address some of the persistent barriers of time, distance and isolation, that impacts on our region's ability to access quality services, especially in the education and health sectors.”