First grants announced under the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program

The Australian Government has announced its first grants under its Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.

The program, announced in March 2017 has earmarked $50 million for projects across Australia, with 40 percent of the total to be located in regional areas.

Darwin is the big winner from the first round of grants, with $5 million awarded to the City of Darwin and the Northern Territory Government, who will each contribute $2.5 million to the $10 million project.

The money will pay for the installation of CCTV cameras at entrances to the city and on Daly Street and Bennett Street in the CBD. Street lighting will be upgraded to LED lighting and on ‘smart’ columns with the capacity to adjust lighting to reduce street crime.

In Bicentennial Park along the Darwin foreshore, smart lighting will include sound monitoring to detect people in distress and potentially notify policy and emergency services.

Darwin’s free city Wi-fi network will also be expanded in key tourist and shopping areas. Smart parking sensors will indicate available parking, intended to reduce congestion and emissions.

Perth has also been awarded $6 million in technology grants under the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.

It supplements $9 million from the LGAs in which the projects are located, bringing the total value of the announcements to $15 million:

  • City of Fremantle: renewable energy generation and storage, rainwater storage and distribution, and an electric vehicle shared ownership trial ($8.26 million).

  • City of Perth: communications precinct around the new Perth Stadium (to be called Optus Stadium after a recent ten year $50 million naming rights deal) and an irrigation trial in public parks ($2.63 million).

  • City of Joondalup: monitoring system to better manage the Yellagonga Wetlands ($2.05 million).

  • University of Western Australia and the City of Wanneroo: real-time rail patronage data to improve development of rail station precincts along the Metronet extension ($1 million).

  • City of Gosnells: real-time data on thermal performance of newly built homes, to encourage the uptake of energy efficiency measures for new housing developments ($265,000).

  • RAC WA with the City of South Perth: trial of driverless electric shuttles to reduce congestion ($980,000).

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