Government offers funding for local council tech projects

Opens applications for $50 million Smart Cities and Suburbs Program grants program

The government is offering grants of up to $5 million for local council technology projects as part of its Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.

The $50 million grants program was opened today by Angus Taylor, the assistant minister for cities and digital transformation.

Projects must involve at least one local government agency and one private sector organisation (in addition to councils and local government agencies, research organisations, businesses, and not-for-profit organisations can lodge applications).

The grants are restricted to 50 per cent of the total project cost, and begin at $100,000.

The grants program covers four priority areas: Smart infrastructure, smart precincts, smart services and communities, and smart planning and design.

Applications will be assessed based on four criteria, including the extent to which a project is innovative and uses smart technology and open data; the social, environmental and economic benefits of a project; the ability to execute the project; and the “extent of the project’s community focus and impact on the liveability of the cities, suburbs and towns.”

Applications close at the end of June.

“I’m delighted to launch this exciting new program to support the rollout of technology and data solutions for local communities,” Taylor said in a statement.

“This is not just for metropolitan areas, good ideas come from everywhere and we welcome applications from across Australia.”

“We’re looking for communities of all sizes and from all locations to put forward technology proposals that solve everyday urban or regional problems, and have the potential to be scaled up and delivered nationwide,” the assistant minister said.

Project examples offered in Taylor’s announcement include traffic sensors and smart street lighting.

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