Tasmania to spend up big on infrastructure

10-year $6 billion plan includes major investment in Bass Strait optic fibre cable, smart grids, digital TV

The Tasmanian government will make major investments in the state’s ICT capabilities as part of a new $6 billion 10-year Infrastructure Strategy initiative.

Announced by Tasmania’s Premier, David Bartlett, Infrastructure Strategy is designed to ensure the longer term economic prosperity of the state, and also includes investment in the transport, energy and water sectors.

According to the Government’s Infrastructure Strategy website, thanks to the NBN, Tasmania would by 2014 have the best fixed consumer broadband in the world.

However, the state will still require significant investment in mobile and wireless infrastructure, applications, smart grids and other system-wide digital technologies to encourage growth in the long term.

“We need to continue to increase competition in our telecommunications markets, especially in relation to connectivity across Bass Strait,” the site reads. “Most of all, to create value from this digital infrastructure and to make it viable, we need high digital literacy and participation across community, business and government.

“By 2024, digital infrastructure should underpin our industries, services, and community life. This is the change which this Digital Infrastructure Strategy is intended to promote.”

Specific ICT projects under the Infrastructure Strategy include a statewide smart grid for water and energy, a “digitally enhanced tourism experience” across the state, digital TV transition, and construction of additional Bass Strait optic fibre cable within five years.

The Strategy will additionally see a push to modernise governance of ICT to coordinate the digital transformation of government, roll out in-home health and education services, and attract large-scale, innovative technology demonstration pilots.

The state is also aiming to have 200,000 premises including 90 per cent of schools and all key health sites connected to the NBN within 5-7 years.

In a statement Tasmania’s Premier, David Bartlett, said the state had a “golden opportunity” over the next 10 years and beyond to harness its natural advantages and become a global leader in water management, renewable energy and telecommunications.

“Our capacity to take advantage of these opportunities will depend on the ability of our infrastructure to support that vision,” he said. “The Government has been proactive in initiating infrastructure reform and coordinating major infrastructure initiatives such as water and sewerage, irrigation, broadband and land-use planning reforms.

“The Tasmanian Infrastructure Strategy draws together, complements and builds on these reforms to ensure we continue to best position ourselves for the future.”

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Tags NBNdigital tvsmart gridstasmaniaTasmanian Infrastructure Strategy

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