Western Queensland research to help indigenous councils
This story, by LGAQ Innovation Executive Lou Boyle, is from the Feb - March edition of the Council Leader Magazine. Keep an eye out for it here or contact us if you would like to receive a hard copy. Photo credit: Tourism and Events QLD
The LGAQ will use preliminary results of the University of Southern Queensland’s report on the benefits that improved telecommunications infrastructure has delivered for Barcoo and Diamantina Shires in applications to support indigenous councils that suffer from poor connectivity.
While details of the unpublished USQ Central Western Queensland Report have shown expected outcomes in the delivery of services such as health and education, the impact on local businesses, improved liveability and the ability to attract people – both residents and tourists – has provided additional benefits to the region.
Innovation Executive Lou Boyle said the early results in the USQ report validates the need to ensure all local government communities have good connectivity.
“Connectivity is central to participating in the digital economy,” Lou said. “But there are some indigenous communities in the Cape and Torres Strait that suffer from poor network infrastructure.
“The LGAQ is looking at ways to impro e infrastructure in the Cape and Torres Strait and the early findings of the USQ report will be a useful tool in demonstrating the benefits that can be obtained through improved telecommunications.”
While the Barcoo and Diamantina councils had undertaken a 15-year campaign for their optic fibre project, it is expected a greater awareness will result in the Commonwealth and State government having a better understanding of the problem.
The LGAQ is contributing to two Commonwealth Government Building Better Regions applications in partnership with Hope Vale Aboriginal Shire and TSIRC that would result in improve backhaul connectivity that would support next generation mobile phone base stations and the delivery of consumer and enterprise broadband services.
“The LGAQ President Mayor Jamieson visited Cape York in September and one of the key issues raised was working with communities to deliver outcomes that would improve connectivity.
“While communities such as Aurukun had benefited from a State Government initiative that resulted in improved infrastructure, councils like Lockhart River, Hope Vale, TSIRC, and Yarrabah would obtain considerable benefit.
“The September meetings in the Cape, also provide an opportunity to record speed tests from within Council buildings, which reiterates the difference that exists in communities.
“Understanding these differences are central to the LGAQ’s Not Another Gap campaign, which is focussed on telecommunications, community skills and awareness and service delivery to improve the liveability of indigenous communities.
Local Government Association of Queensland
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