Strelow’s push to create smart city

ROCKHAMPTON Regional Mayor Margaret Strelow has a vision to create the environment the region's teenagers are leaving to find in other cities.

As well as the riverbank revitalisation and a focus on transforming the CBD, Cr Strelow sees technology as a vital part of rejuvenating the Beef Capital.

Rockhampton Regional Council has outlined a strategy aiming to become Australia's first smart regional centre, with investment in technology hubs to encourage innovative business and develop a "technology-driven, knowledge-based economy".

Smart hubs along the riverfront "will provide a public space for entrepreneurs and start-up businesses to use high-tech facilities including a skills and learning centre, a business centre and a research and innovation lab".

Cr Strelow (pictured) said knowledge-based businesses, including those that grow out of the smart hub, would be encouraged to relocate to under-utilised spaces in the CBD.

The city centre will also be fitted with new CCTV cameras, smart projectors and lighting will promote local art and indigenous culture and Wi-fi will be available throughout.

But the technology isn't isolated to the CBD, with plans for digital signs giving real-time safety information at Mount Archer.

Bushwalking trails will be fitted with digital checkpoints capable of detecting human movement and sending alerts if someone wanders off track.

Cr Strelow said the plan was about harnessing new technologies, including the National Broadband Network, to help build the region's agriculture, mining and tourism sectors.

"Smart technologies, better connectivity and willingness by council, local business and the community to work smarter and embrace emerging industries will deliver a new era of prosperity for us and our children," she said.

"It will allow us to improve the wonderful lifestyle we already enjoy, help stop the drain of young local talent to other areas and draw more people who are seeking better career and lifestyle choices to the region.

"This is an opportunity to create new locally based jobs in emerging industries operating on the global stage. By doing so we will be able to offer our young people world-class educational, training and career opportunities in areas of global demand, retaining their skills and knowledge for the benefit of the entire region."

Community and industry consultation is underway, with feedback presented to council by the end of the month.

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