The Bundaberg Region was today showcased as a national leader in technological innovation at the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) conference.
Speaking from the conference in Canberra, Mayor Jack Dempsey said delegates were interested to hear about Council’s Intelligent Community Strategy.
“Building Bundaberg as an intelligent community means protecting and enhancing our region’s enviable natural assets and quality of life, while also embracing change to ensure we meet the challenges of tomorrow,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“In the face of climate change and potential natural disasters, we need a proactive, future-focused approach to adapt and thrive.
“Bundaberg is home to a diversity of talent and expertise.
“Digital technology will unlock our region’s human capital and collective intelligence, creating new economic, social and environmental opportunities to build Australia’s best regional community.”
Mayor Dempsey said the proposed AgTech centre, for which CQUniversity received funding through the Regional Deal, was an exciting initiative.
“Bundaberg’s gross regional product increased by 13.2 per cent in 2016-17, due in large part to the region’s thriving agriculture industry, worth an estimated $500 million per annum,” he said.
“The Bundaberg Region is rightly known as the food bowl of Australia.
“Blazing a trail in AgTech innovations, the Bundaberg Region is well positioned to capitalise on the $100 billion industry that agriculture is forecast to become by 2030.
“Our unique environment and natural resources make the Bundaberg Region a prime location for environmental science research.”
Intelligent community in action
Mayor Dempsey said Council projects to help create an intelligent community included smart water meter trials and reducing urban glow to protect endangered turtles.
“We’re also committed to an open data policy which will give easier access to publicly available information,” he said.
Council’s executive director for strategic projects and economic development, Ben Artup, presented on the strategy at the ALGA conference.
“We’re building a region with a thriving and diversified economy that invests in its industry specialisations, cultivates an innovation ecosystem to attract and retain talent, and equips its people with the skills for the jobs of the future,” Mr Artup said.
“We’ll be opening up the Bundaberg Region as a ‘living lab’ for innovation to promote the growth of the entrepreneurial community and establish a reputation as a leading innovation hub.
“A practical example is already under way in our libraries, where school children learn coding, logic, and problem solving, through to seniors learning the basics of social media and tablets, and everyone can experience virtual reality.”