Office of City Data should be top policy priority: SCCANZ

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Wednesday, 17 April, 2019

Office of City Data should be top policy priority: SCCANZ

The establishment of an Office of City Data should be a top policy priority for all Australian political parties during the upcoming election, according to Smart Cities Council Australia and New Zealand (SCCANZ).

The council is calling on all Australian political parties to adopt national policy priorities across four key areas — infrastructure and the built environment, regional growth, smart city investments and transformed decision-making.

As per the SCCANZ's policy recommendations, the proposed Office of City Data would work across all tiers of government to further stimulate the use of government data to enhance data maturity while driving more informed decision-making and city planning.

SCCANZ is meanwhile advocating for greater investment in smart cities initiatives. The body is recommending the creation of a Smart Regions Fund worth $50 million per year to help drive digital transformation in regional and rural areas, as well as a commitment of at least $100 million per year towards the Smart Cities and Suburbs program.

Other recommendations include establishing a Digital Built Australia Centre of Excellence within Infrastructure Australia tasked with driving digital transformation within the property sector, and the development of a National Urban Mobility Framework promoting the efficient use of more intelligent transportation systems.

"The policy recommendations we have presented in this document enable our cities and regions to strive to make 'smart' the norm, and not the exception, which is what Australia needs to be a globally competitive smart nation," SCCANZ Executive Director Adam Beck said.

"Our recommendation for the establishment of the Office of City Data, for example, is a concerted effort to help leverage the latent value in data, and unlock this value to transform the way we make decisions in infrastructure spending, metropolitan planning and enhancing social wellbeing."

Beck also urged the major parties to continue their bipartisan support for the City Deals program, and to develop a national blueprint for more of such deals in the future.

Image credit: ©

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