CAIRNS Regional Council has been awarded an $827,894 technology grant by the Federal Government to help deliver better outcomes for our city.
The Reducing Urban Impacts on the Great Barrier Reef project has been announced as one of 52 successful initiatives under Round One of the Australian Government’s inaugural Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.
The project will see a connected network of 30 environmental sensors installed in urban waterways to obtain real-time water quality data on discharges entering the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation Angus Taylor and Federal Member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch have congratulated Cairns Regional Council on its proposal.
“A total of $28.5 million in Round One funding is being provided by the Australian Government for projects across Australia, with 40% of projects located in regional areas.” Assistant Minister Taylor said.
“This program is about delivering technology solutions to help fix practical problems in local communities. We are focused on delivering solutions across Australia, across our regions, suburbs and city centres.”
Mr Entsch welcomed the news and praised Cairns Regional Council for its innovation.
“This project will benefit the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park by facilitating automated and targeted evidence based management of water quality,” Mr Entsch said.
Cairns Regional Council Mayor, Bob Manning said this project has the potential to set the benchmark for Australia and the world in terms of being able to better manage the environment, and in particular such iconic natural assets as the Great Barrier Reef.
“With our partners James Cook University and Itron Australiasia, we will actively monitor the quality of the water that is entering the Great Barrier Reef lagoon, which will result in better management of the health of the reef,” Mr Manning said.
“The Great Barrier Reef is worth $6.5 billion a year to the Queensland economy and creates 64,000 jobs. It is our responsibility to protect this resource for future generations.
“The project will build on innovative technology that is being used as part of the rollout of smart water meters in Cairns and will position our region as one that is embracing smart technology for the benefit of all,” Mr Manning said.
In addition to the Australian Government’s $827,894 contribution, Cairns Regional Council will contribute the same amount to make the project a reality.
The$50 million Smart Cities and Suburbs Program supports local governments and partner organisations to deliver technology projects that will solve critical challenges facing our cities, suburbs and regional centres, and tackle issues such as congestion, housing supply, community safety and access to essential services.
Round Two of the Program is expected to open in the first half of 2018.
More information on the Program and the Smart Cities Plan can be found at https://cities.dpmc.gov.au/.