The peak body spearheading moves to make our communities more liveable, sustainable and more technologically empowered, the Australian Smart Communities Association (ASCA) has welcomed the announcement of the first grants under the Australian government’s Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.

ASCA CEO Laurie Patton says this shows the federal government is serious about the role technology plays both in sustainability and liveability.

“We look forward to working with the federal government to ensure that Australia is a global leader in the deployment of smart technologies,” Patton says.

Some of the first projects announced under this initiative include:

  • $5 million to install CCTV cameras, smart street lighting and a public Wi-Fi system in Darwin
  • A total of $6 million for the City of Fremantle’s renewable energy generation and storage, rainwater storage and distribution,
  • An electric vehicle shared ownership trial, a new communications precinct around the new Perth Stadium and an irrigation trial in public parks in Perth,
  • A trial of driverless electric shuttles to reduce congestion in the City of South Perth,
  • In collaboration with the University of Western Australia and the City of Wanneroo, real-time rail patronage data collection to improve development of rail station precincts along the Metronet extension.

These projects are among some 52 across Australia totalling $28.5 million that was provided under round one of the federal government’s Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.

According to the ASCA, more funding announcements are expected soon.

“While there's already a good deal of energy at local government level, we'll need Canberra and the states and territories on board if we are to become world class, so we applaud the Federal government on this project,” says Patton.