The Victorian government has put up $100,000 in prize money to encourage software developers to create applications which improve the daily lives of inhabitants of the state.
Announced by Victorian ICT minister, John Lenders, the ‘App My State’ competition aims to help turn Victorian government data into practical applications for use on websites, social networking sites and smartphones.
“We’re looking for the cream of Victoria’s innovative and hi-tech communities to come up with new and helpful ways to use this information — an added incentive for local talent to develop their ideas for fellow Victorians,” Landers said in a statement.
Applications will be judged for their innovation, design and development, usefulness, accessibility and general excellence.
The competition is in part designed to highlight recent changes made by the State Government aimed at increasing efficiency and transparency in government, stimulating investment and creating jobs.
“For the first time, the Victorian Government will bring together over 50 datasets for developers to build applications for residents, visitors, businesses — and even government,” Victorian minister for innovation, Gavin Jennings, said.
“Much of the information in the datasets is already available — but for the first time it will be accessible through a central portal.”
Smart Meter Review called
In related news, Victorian energy and resources minister, Peter Batchelor, has called on the Essential Services Commission to do a full review of smart meter consumer regulations following the release of new electricity pricing structures in the state.
The review will seek to ensure "vulnerable" Victorians are not disadvantaged by the new pricing changes.
“We want to ensure that the smart meter roll-out and the transition to time-of-use tariffs are carefully and properly managed,” Batchelor said in a statement.
“I am also writing to the Australian Energy Regulator on this and other matters and I will highlight my expectations that consumer groups and the wider public have the chance to be properly consulted and educated about any major changes to pricing."
The Victoria government has also announced that it will establish a customer working group, and provide $50,000 to a consumer welfare agency to ensure all Victorians benefit from smart meters.