Onkaparinga teaches NBN literacy

Willunga residents will receive free online training to improve digital literacy and experience National Broadband Network (NBN) services following the launch of a digital hub.

The first South Australian Digital Hub and Digital Enterprise programs were launched in Willunga under the City of Onkaparinga, which has partnered with the Australian Government to establish the hub.

The City of Onkaparinga was also awarded funding of $411950 from the federal government to implement improvements to its administration and services through the Digital Local Government program of the Department for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBC&DE).

With $17.1 million from the Australian Government’s Digital Local Government program, it funds local governments that first benefit from the NBN.

Minister for Broadband, Stephen Conroy said Willunga’s digital hub will ensure local homes and businesses make the most of what the NBN offers.

Member for Kingston, Amanda Rishworth said the council can implement an online process for the lodgment, assessment and enforcement of development applications by using the high speed broadband available through the NBN.

“Interactive high-definition videoconferencing sessions between residents and council planning, building and compliance officers will now be possible, resulting in a more effective and efficient planning process.”

“Residents of Willunga will also have the opportunity of videoconference with other specialist council staff located in the City of Onkaparinga’s Noarlunga office,” she said.

City of Onkaparinga Mayor, Lorraine Rosenberg said high-speed broadband has opened up a new world for southern businesses since its introduction last year.

"The City of Onkaparinga sees high-speed broadband as a future source of competitive economic advantage and a great asset for the community as a whole,” Ms Rosenberg said.

She said the council is developing a digital strategy to raise the use of high speed broadband throughout the city.

The grant to improve Onkaparinga’s development assessment services is to develop an online process to streamline development assessment, including high-definition video conferencing sessions between staff and applicants.

Benefits are anticipated to include reduced development application processing time, reduced administration costs, reduced customer costs, and improved customer service.

The council developed its comprehensive business case over the last 15 months, which involved significant interaction with the DBC&DE.

Council contributed 25 per cent of the grant, including ‘in kind’ staff resources, with the Digital Local Government funding made available following the submission of the council’s business case.

According to the council, the project allows a previously identified service need to be sped up, with the business plan including the resourcing of ongoing maintenance and infrastructure costs as part of the council’s operating budget including ongoing support of participants through library and customer service staff.

The Digital Enterprise program will be delivered by the City of Onkaparinga in partnership with the Willunga Business and Tourism Association, the Southern Success Business Enterprise Centre and the Onkaparinga Exporters Club.

It will provide structured workshops, mentoring and support services to small businesses and not-for-profits on how to get the most out of the NBN.

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