City welcomes smart city funding

16 Nov 2017

Newcastle City Council has welcomed a $5 million Australian Government grant to deploy digital technology to make it easier to move around the city and run it more efficiently.

The Smart Move Newcastle project, part of Council's Smart City vision, will integrate digital technology in vehicles and infrastructure to deliver a more convenient multi-modal transport system and yield productivity and energy efficiency gains.

In addition to the $5 million contribution, Newcastle City Council together with partners will contribute $10 million.*

Assistant Minister for Cities, The Honourable Angus Taylor, and Newcastle City Council Interim CEO Jeremy Bath at today's announcement.

"Council is grateful for this funding and the Australian Government's recognition of our leadership in realising a smart city," Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

"Just 52 of 176 applicants received funding under the Smart Cities and Suburbs allocations, and our success is a credit to the brilliant smart city strategy that Council endorsed in July and the quality of the submission by our dedicated smart city team.

"Following NSW Government backing last year for the Hunter Innovation Project, the latest grant confirms Newcastle's transformation into a smart, liveable and sustainable city underpinned by a services-led knowledge economy."

The federal funding will support a range of initiatives including:

  • A pilot electric vehicle hub on the city fringe with chargers for electric cars and e-bikes for hire
  • On-demand bus transport offering a more personalised service
  • Autonomous vehicle trials
  • Bus stops with technology to provide users with real-time information, such as when the next bus is due and how many seats are available
  • Roads and intersections with real-time traffic analysis to give emergency vehicles green lights and commuters a heads up on traffic jams
  • Inroad sensors to provide data on parking availability via apps
  • Sensors in buildings to monitor and manage energy use and provide business insights
  • Cameras in smart light poles to analyse cloud coverage and estimate solar energy production

Assistant Minister for Cities, The Honourable Angus Taylor, congratulated Council on leading the way in the application of smart city technology in Australia.

“This funding will support council to forge ahead in this area,” Assistant Minister Taylor said.

“The Smart Cities and Suburbs Program is rewarding clever ideas that boost local economies and fix problems – traffic congestion, connectivity, business downturn, anti-social behaviour – as well as the ability to be replicated in other places, particularly in the outer suburbs of our cities and regional cities like Newcastle.”

Today's announcement follows the NSW Government's $10 million commitment to the $17.8m Hunter Innovation Project (HIP) in September last year.

The HIP is now delivering smart city infrastructure throughout Newcastle's CBD and will establish an innovation hub for researchers, industry and entrepreneurs to commercialise ideas and promote economic development.

* Key city partners include Keolis Downer, the University of Newcastle, Eighteen04, CSIRO and RDA Hunter.

A range of industry partners create an internationally significant collaboration.