Alexandrina Council secures $100,000 Federal Grant

Alexandrina Council secures $100,000 Federal Grant

Connecting Communities with Smart Services Project

Alexandrina Council has been successful in attaining $100,000 of grant funding under round one of the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program, joining five other South Australian Projects that will also be co-funded. The Australian government will provide 52 projects across the nation with AU$28.5 million in shared funding.

The Alexandrina Council Connecting Communities with Smart Services Project will enhance Wi-Fi, connectivity and access to information across the Council region. The townships of Goolwa, Ashbourne, Strathalbyn, Port Elliot, Langhorne Creek, Milang and Mount Compass will be virtually linked with Council’s library, tourism and customer services through the use of Wi-Fi hotspots and mobile technologies.

Under the conditions of the program, Alexandrina will match the grant funding, and contribute further to see the project come to fruition. The total cost of the project will be $219,600, with Alexandrina contributing $119,600 to the $100,000 grant funding.

This project is set to help the community rebuild from the Millennium Drought by providing technological and economic resilience to the small rural communities affected, as well as building social interaction. It will also provide much needed data analytics on visitor movement within the district as it recovers from impacted visitation suffered throughout and following the drought.

The Smart Cities and Suburbs Program offers the opportunity to harness technology for economic and social benefit – connecting our communities to Alexandrina Council in ways not done before. The $50 million, multiple round project will run over three years, supporting projects that apply smart technology, data-driven decision making and people focused design to deliver economic, social and environmental benefits.  The project will help to establish smart city innovation eco-systems and move Australia towards a global leadership position in smart city solutions.

The Alexandrina Council Connecting Communities with Smart Services Project addresses the brief to deliver innovative solutions that transform the government sector, advance community goals and address the needs of residents.

Specifically, Alexandrina Council will; deploy public Wi-Fi  to Langhorne Creek, Port Elliot, Milang, Mount Compass, Strathalbyn and Goolwa, which will provide free, reliable access to Council and tourism information and services; improve connectivity between residents and Council; incorporate collaborative delivery for library services in regional communities including kiosks with Wi-Fi accessibility; and launch an analytics platform to capture and analyse data that can be made accessible to the local business community and tourism bodies, for market analysis and research purposes.

Alexandrina Council Mayor Keith Parkes is optimistic about the benefits the project will have in the region.

“This region has endless potential and charisma that appeal to locals of the hamlets and townships of Alexandrina, and to visitors who come to experience nature, heritage, and country hospitality. The area has been, and still is, impacted by the Millennium drought which has affected our economic, social and environmental wellbeing,” he said.

“Securing this grant through the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program enables us as a Council, to connect communities through Wi-Fi, build social interaction between townships and rebuild the economic resilience that this district is deserving and capable of.

“The benefit to local business groups, and tourism bodies and organisations, to use data analytics to gauge visitor movement and behaviour is well documented and also an advantage of the technology available to us when rolling out this project.”

Council’s commitment to supporting our community and offering new and digital solutions to providing services and information that is fair and equitable, especially considering the lengthy distances between townships, is honoured through projects like this that will see the region realise its full potential.