by Byron Connolly

South East QLD billed as new ‘smart region’

Aug 14, 2015

Cisco has earmarked South East Queensland as Australia’s first ‘smart region’, a digital hotbed with 30,000 new jobs and a potential $10 billion economic boost predicted over the coming years.

The networking giant on Friday unveiled a new report – compiled with insights from 1041 residents and business groups including the National Retailers Association, and RACQ – that positions the region as a digital hub.

Intelligent lighting and parking, citizen applications and smart power metering will drive multi-faceted benefits the region, with 12 councils that contribute more than $180 billion to the region, the report said.

Sunshine Coast Council, for instance, is building digital infrastructure from the ground up with a new city centre at Maroochydore. Ipswich too was preparing for a strong future as a digital city, according to mayor, Paul Pisasale.

“We have recognised that buiding and taking advantage of digital highways now will set Ipswich on a secure and successful path of capitalise on the ballooning digital economy,” he said.

Speaking to CIO, Darren Scott, MD, Cisco Consulting Services, said the company had completed around 150 projects globally in this area and has attracted lot of interest from governments around the benefits of digital cities.

“We saw this [South East QLD] as one of the first smart regions across the world. We’ve been working at individual council level and with the South East Queensland Council of Mayors and others to share the knowledge we’ve gained across the globe in helping them accelerate this initiative,” he said.

All 12 councils in the region are currently working on digital projects in areas such as connected parking and smart lighting, Scott said

“If you look at an end citizen outcome around how to make public transport more reliable from someone’s home in Ipswich to an event in Brisbane city – for that really to work then it’s got to be a cross-council approach to addressing that problem area.

“If you look at traffic congestion and how to handle emergency response to weather events or a natural disaster, it’s the same [approach],” he said.

“We need to accelerate those conversations and look at implementing things that will help move to agenda across council and government.”

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