By Lilia Guan
The Federal Government has announced that Victorian-based council Moreland City Council has been successful in its application for Digital Local Government program funding.
The Digital Local Government program funding of $412500 (including GST) will assist council in improving accessibility of its customer support services.
“Through this project, customer service staff at Moreland City Council will be able to use videoconferencing to explain council processes interactively, in particular to residents who speak English as a second language,” Senator Conroy said.
The first priorities will be in challenging areas such as assisting those in care; stopping dumpers; improving recycling and minimising waste, councillor Oscar Yildiz said.
“We believe the 'Moreland Connect' pilot customer service program is the first of its kind in government in Australia. Banks and some larger corporations are already doing this,” he said.
“The national broadband network (NBN) will enable us to improve and speed up our customer service responses in and out of working hours and this will save residents time and money.”
He told Government News the next five to ten years will see directly connected NBN video based customer service become the norm for everyone.
“We intend in the near future that NBN connected residents will speak to us online from computers and in time even from hand held devices,” councillor Yildiz said.
“Federal funding is over three years and we plan to learn from this important first step to radically improve services to our community.”
The Federal Government has also opened one of its first Victoria-based national broadband Digital Hubs program in Brunswick.
The program uses community partnerships in National NBN connected communities to provide free online training to residents and the opportunity to experience NBN-enabled high-speed broadband services.
Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy said the Brunswick Digital Hub and the Moreland Digital Local Government project will both focus on reaching out and making NBN services accessible to everyone in its diverse community.
“In Brunswick, over 40 per cent of residents were born overseas and up to 23 per cent are newly arrived in Australia,” he said.
“The need to provide accessible and quality digital literacy education to community members from diverse backgrounds means that the Brunswick Neighbourhood House is ideally placed to deliver the objectives of the Digital Hub program.”
“By empowering people, increasing their digital literacy skills and opening up digital participation to all members of the community, the Brunswick Digital Hub is working to help ensure that the 26 per cent of Australians who do not use the internet is a statistic that will be rapidly shrinking in the future.”
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