Moreton Bay to Benefit From NBN-Enabled Council Services

Monday, August 19th, 2013 @ 2:39AM

Families and businesses in the Moreton Bay region will be able to interact with the local council from their living room or office, thanks to a new online community engagement project.

Minister Assisting for the Digital Economy, Senator Kate Lundy, today announced the project, which is funded as part of the Rudd Labor Government’s Digital Local Government program.

Local residents and businesses will now be able to speak ‘face-to-face’ with Moreton Bay Regional Council representatives via videoconferencing. This project will assist development and planning activities; provide a more convenient option for connecting and meeting with stakeholders, businesses and other levels of government; and better connect council staff located across the region.

“Ultimately, this project will mean better, more accessible and more convenient services, delivered more efficiently and with less hassle. People just don’t have the time these days to stand around in queues all day at council offices, or to fight the midday traffic to get to council chambers for a meeting or forum,” Senator Lundy said.

“All of this is only possible with high speed broadband, which is already showing that it has the capacity to revolutionise the way local governments provide services. The NBN is helping to put residents and ratepayers at the heart of local government service delivery – which is where they should be.”

Moreton Bay Regional Council covers more than 2,037 square kilometres and has a population of approximately 389,680. Introducing video conferencing will save residents time and money, as well as increasing opportunities to participate in important local issues.

Moreton Bay Mayor Allan Sutherland said council staff, community members and businesses spent spending many hours travelling to and from meetings.

“In a region spanning more than 2,000 km 2 high quality live streaming and video conferencing has exciting potential to improve the ways businesses and residents can link with council,” he said.

Moreton Bay Regional Council is receiving $350,000 in funding to deliver this initiative, with council contributing around $198,000. Specific funding details will be subject to the negotiation of a funding deed.

“Labor is building the NBN for all Australians. No matter where you live – in the cities or in regional Australia – you will have access to the NBN. The NBN is world-class infrastructure that will serve Australia’s broadband needs now and for decades into the future,” Senator Lundy said.

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