Ovens Murray Digital Plan launched09/12/2019
The Ovens Murray Regional Partnership has launched its Digital Plan – an evidence-based, place-based analysis of the supply of and demand for digital services and skills in the region.
The Plan is the third of nine to be launched by Regional Partnerships across the state and provides the most comprehensive evidence to date of the region’s digital infrastructure landscape.
It identifies gaps in the region’s current digital infrastructure and makes recommendations on how these gaps can be addressed.
The plan identified Ovens Murray as having one of the lowest levels of digital inclusion in Victoria, and a poor awareness of digital opportunities.
The availability and reliability of NBN services, limited availability of free public WiFi, and inadequate mobile coverage were also identified as key issues for the region.
The Plan was developed after regional communities across the state told all nine Regional Partnerships that regional digital connectivity needed to be improved. Each Partnership took this message to the Victorian Government, which responded by supporting the development of nine Digital Plans as part of the $45 million Connecting Regional Communities program. This is part of the state’s broader Connecting Victoria initiatives.
Ovens Murray Regional Partnership Chair Irene Grant said this is the first time government has undertaken such a consistent and coordinated survey of the digital connectivity landscape in close collaboration with regional stakeholders, recognising local challenges and priorities.
She added that the Partnership and other stakeholders in the region could now use the Digital Plan to advocate to all levels of government and industry for improvements to the region’s digital infrastructure.
Ms Grant said the Plan, along with the other eight of its type, will “empower us collectively and in our individual Partnership regions to provide evidence-based proof of where the Digital Divide lies in our regions and map the impacts and effects.”
“This is a really important document that will help us advocate for improvements here in Ovens Murray, but also across all of regional Victoria,” Ms Grant said. “Digital technology and infrastructure are fundamental to the economic and social growth of regional Victoria, and it is essential that our businesses and communities are not left behind.
“We want to thank the Victorian Government for supporting this Plan and for the leadership it has shown in helping to address the Digital Divide. Regional communities are now much better placed to advocate on digital connectivity issues and contribute to policy and program development.”