More funding for NBN local services in Gungahlin

Today I announced more funding for Gungahlin Library as part of the National Broadband Network roll-out, this time for services to put people in touch with their local government. The funding comes on top of over $800,000 announced last week to provide NBN training facilities also at Gungahlin Library. It's exciting to see the development of a 21st century library; using local community facilities to connect with the world's knowledge.

Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy
Minister for Broadband, Communications
and the Digital Economy

Katy Gallagher MLA
ACT Chief Minister

Dr Andrew Leigh MP
Federal Member for Fraser

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

Gillard Government provides $360,000 to the ACT Government to deliver NBN enabled local services

Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, and the Member for Fraser, Dr Andrew Leigh MP, today announced that $359,951 will be provided to the ACT Government to develop improved local services using the National Broadband Network (NBN).

The ACT Government will use the funding to deliver better support services for ACT residents using high-definition videoconferencing technology that takes advantage of the fast broadband provided by the NBN. The project will deliver enhanced online services, enabling Gungahlin residents to engage and transact more easily with the ACT Government.

“The NBN allows local governments to put residents and ratepayers at the heart of local government service delivery-where they should be. Ultimately, this means better, more accessible and more convenient services, delivered more efficiently and with less hassle,” Senator Conroy said.

“Delivery of improved online local government services is yet another way the NBN is now starting to benefit Australians. The ACT Government is to be congratulated for realising the benefits that the NBN can provide to its residents,” Dr Leigh said.

The funding is in addition to the $827,709 from the Gillard Government announced earlier this month for Gungahlin Library to run NBN training services for individuals, small businesses and not-for-profit organisations.

“Thanks to this funding, Gungahlin Library is the model of what a twenty-first century library should be: a friendly and accessible facility, connected to the world’s knowledge,” Dr Leigh said.

ACT Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher, said the ACT Government contribution of $132,948 to the Digital Local Government project through in-kind support would assist the project to develop its online community engagement portal.

“When the project comes on-line, Gungahlin residents will have another contemporary channel through which to engage with Legislative Assembly members and government officials via interactive video platforms. The project will also provide the necessary infrastructure for new online services and forums, starting initially in Gungahlin, but moving across the ACT as the NBN is rolled out.

“It is great to see new technologies becoming more widely available for community engagement, building on our commitment to Open Government processes,” the Chief Minister said.

Under the three year rollout plan, construction of NBN fibre services will have started or be completed for 152,400 homes and businesses across the ACT by mid-2015.* This includes the Fibre Serving Areas (FSAs) of Belconnen, Civic, Crace, Deakin, Kambah, Manuka, Monash, Queanbeyan and Scullin. Residents of the ACT who live outside the NBN fibre footprint will be able to connect to the NBN via next generation fixed wireless or satellite.

The $17.1 million Digital Local Government program is providing funding to local governments in communities that are among the first to get the benefits of the NBN. The program helps these local governments to use the NBN to improve the quality, availability and timeliness of services provided to homes and businesses.

For further details on the Digital Local Government program visit: www.dbcde.gov.au/digitallocalgov

* Note: this figure may include premises located in neighbouring local government areas that fall within the same FSAs.

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