At Monday night’s meeting, our Councillors adopted the Albury Wodonga Smart Community Strategy, which defines a way forward for the delivery of Australia’s first cross-border smart regional community.
The adoption of the strategy follows its endorsement by Wodonga Council this month, and comes after a period of public exhibition.
Created with the help of our community members and partner agencies, it’s a far-seeing document that lays out a long-term framework for the adoption of digital technology in 18 smart community services across both cities.
The delivery of these services - which include health, education, parking, waste management, lighting, water, and public safety – will be revolutionised by smart technology that will change the ways in which we do business, enjoy our leisure time, and move around our cities.
There are literally hundreds of ways in which smart innovations will change our community for the better, but some examples include:
- Integration of cross-border smart health services
- Sensor technology to provide real-time parking information to motorists
- Sensor-activated lighting that will keep us safer at night
- More smart bins to enable us to more efficiently process waste and encourage recycling
- Advanced take-up of electric vehicles through commercial partnerships, and
- Wi-Fi and smart indicators for people using public transport.
These are just some of the exciting developments that our smart future will bring. We’ll also be able to use smart thinking to enhance and protect our environment, deliver better education outcomes to students of all ages, and advance innovation in the public and private sectors.
Essentially, by working with our partners and community, this strategy will not only bring new ideas and services that once seemed the stuff of science fiction, they will also enable us to deliver traditional services in new and exciting ways.
For example, community and sporting groups could use their phones to activate lighting controls at ovals, smart drinking fountains are reducing our environmental impact and improving our health, while advanced Wi-Fi networks will ensure we’re more connected than ever before.
The benefits will include economic growth and new investment, enhanced liveability for our residents, lower energy costs and improved environmental sustainability – all central planks of our mission to make Albury Wodonga an even better place to live, work and invest.
We’re already well on the way to delivering smart community improvements - the installation of cheaper, more sustainable LED lamps in street lights across Albury, for example, is one of the first steps in this process – but we can look forward to so much more.
The adoption of this strategy means we can now power ahead on the journey into our digital future and we very much look forward to taking those steps together.
All journeys begin with small steps and now, guided by our new digital roadmap and with residents, businesses, education providers and others leading the way, we can expect those small steps to become giant strides as we harness the limitless potential of technology to create a 21st Century Albury Wodonga with equally unlimited potential to grow and thrive.
Thank you to everyone who’s helped us to reach this point. It’s just the beginning of a new way of living and working, so please do continue to share your ideas, dreams and visions as we develop a brighter, smarter future for us all.