According to the Australian Smart Communities Association (ASCA) CEO, Laurie Patton, state governments should use proceeds from the sale of their shares in the Snowy Hydro power company to massively improve quality of life in cities and towns.
"Since I joined ASCA late last year the overwhelming message I've been receiving is there simply isn't enough money around for the sorts of ground-breaking improvements that can be achieved using new smart technologies. What a fabulous thing for the states to do with the unexpected money the Federal Government is about to give them," he says.
Originally known as the Broadband Alliance, ASCA is the not-for-profit peak body representing people and organisations spearheading moves to make our communities more liveable, more sustainable and more technologically empowered.
ASCA members and partners include governments, businesses, universities and passionate individuals.
"There's no doubt Australia needs more infrastructure spending", says Patton, adding that, "but let's not just do more of the same. Let's start making 21st Century decisions and leverage all the amazing new products and services that are being used internationally in so-called Smart Cities".
Patton also says ASCA believed innovation is key to Australia leading the world in the creation of smart cities and communities, repeating calls for Australia the agree a bipartisan national strategy.
"Australia helped invent Wi-Fi. We developed the Heart Pacemaker, the Black Box Flight Recorder and numerous other things that have already improved peoples' lives. Innovation is a strength on which we need to build a better Australia," he says.
"We need every level of government, and all sides of politics, to embrace the smart use of technology to deal with increasing congestion, environmental issues and the many other constraints that are causing people to question the state of modern city living."
From 9-11 May 2018, ASCA will host the ultimate smart cities and communities event in the Southern Hemisphere in Melbourne.
"It promises to be a great event with high profile local and international speakers and a range of sponsors and exhibitors who will ensure delegates come away at the top of their game when it comes to knowing and understanding the opportunities waiting to be explored," says Patton.