Just a short time ago, Lord Mayor Graham Quirk delivered his 2015-2016 Brisbane City Council budget speech, which stayed true to his previously stated list of key priorities including a large focus on Infrastructure and Sustainability. This comes as no surprise though, as Queensland was one of the main beneficiaries of the Federal Budgets newly announced $5bil Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.
When it comes to developing Brisbane as a digital city, Lord Mayor Quirk said “Increasing competitiveness, a digital presence, communication and education is the key to business growth and I intend to ensure Council delivers on our part for Brisbane business.” So what does this look like for Brisbane?
Our edge on competiveness will come from a large open data project, designed to make BCC data available to local businesses and start-ups, to lend a helping hand in product and service development, which in turn will drive job creation in small business. To further support small business, $25.5mil of the budget will be dedicated to increasing the growth of the Council run Business Hotline – a service that provides information and advice to business owners.
In terms of increasing our ‘digital presence’ Lord Mayor Quirk announced plans to perform a large scale free Wi-Fi rollout, which will see the entire CBD covered – a dramatic increase from the previous amount of 22 hotspots Brisbane wide. Another new digital feature in the works is the launch of a BCC owned parking app, designed to allow motorists to top-up their parking meters from their mobile and offer the ability to find and book parking spaces in real-time.
What are your thoughts on the future of Brisbane as a digital city and the allocation of resources in the new budget to further this?