Great South Coast Digital Plan launched12/03/2020
The Great South Coast Partnership has today launched its Digital Plan – a detailed analysis and assessment of the digital infrastructure and services across the region.
Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes launched the plan at the Great South Coast Regional Partnership deep dive event in Warrnambool today.
The new strategy is a direct response to recommendations of the Great South Coast Regional Partnership which identified digital connectivity as a priority issue.
Developed as part of the Victorian Government’s Connecting Regional Communities Program, the plan is one of nine under development across Victoria, which outlines comprehensive and up-to-date information on digital infrastructure, services and skills across the state’ regions.
The Great South Coast Digital Plan identifies gaps in the region’s current digital infrastructure and makes recommendations on how these gaps can be addressed. The key digital connectivity issues affecting the region are inadequate mobile coverage, low take-up of Internet of Things (IoT) applications and lack of NBN business-grade services.
The plans are a result of community feedback to all nine Regional Partnerships that digital connectivity needed to be improved within their regions.
Each Partnership took this message to the Victorian Government, which responded by supporting the plans as part of the $45 million Connecting Regional Communities program. This is part of the state’s broader Connecting Victoria initiatives.
Great South Coast Partnership Chair Lisa Dwyer said the plan was a clear summary of the digital infrastructure issues affecting the Great South Coast region.
“The plan is the first of its kind for our region. It’s a great document to guide immediate and future work,” Ms Dwyer said.
“Whether it is a local business owner, a young student, a tourism operator, a visitor or an elderly citizen, digital connectivity is a fundamental feature of everyone’s lives.”
$100,000 from the Regional Digital Fund has been provided to investigate development of a network of community digital hubs across the region. The hubs, which are a key recommendation of the digital plan, will improve digital literacy skills for the Great South Coast community.
Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes congratulated the Great South Coast Regional Partnership on the release of their Digital Plan and the extensive work undertaken across the region to highlight the challenges and opportunities that exist.
The Great South Coast Regional Partnership deep dive theme is ‘closing the digital divide’, identified as the region’s top priority by the Partnership. The plan provides a comprehensive overview of digital infrastructure and service priorities and gaps across the five municipalities within the Great South Coast, home to more than 100,000 Victorians.