The Victorian Government will invest $100,000 to develop better infrastructure, digital connectivity and coverage in the Great South Coast.
The new strategy is a direct response to recommendations of the Great South Coast Regional Partnership which identified digital connectivity as a priority issue.
Minister for Regional Development, Jaclyn Symes, launched the plan at the Great South Coast Regional Partnership deep dive event in Warrnambool.
The funds, from the Regional Digital Fund, will be used to investigate development of a network of community digital hubs across the region. The hubs, which are a key recommendation of the digital plan, will improve digital literacy skills for the Great South Coast community.
The Great South Coast Digital Plan is one of nine across the state being developed in collaboration with the Regional Partnerships, supported by the Connecting Regional Communities Program. This is the fourth digital plan to be released, following Central Highlands, Gippsland and Ovens Murray.
The Great South Coast Regional Partnership deep dive theme is ‘closing the digital divide’, identified as the region’s top priority by the Partnership. The plan provides a comprehensive overview of digital infrastructure and service priorities and gaps across the five municipalities within the Great South Coast, home to more than 100,000 Victorians.
Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade, Martin Pakula, said, “We know how important digital connectivity is for regional communities and that’s why we’re launching this plan to improve and deliver services to where they are needed most.”
Key digital connectivity and skills issues identified in the digital plan include mobile coverage for homes and businesses, availability and knowledge of how the internet and computing devices interact within everyday objects and a lack of NBN business-grade services throughout the region.