Building smarter communities

The Digital Marketplace has been working with local governments to help build smarter communities around Australia. Catherine Thompson talks about how local councils can get involved.

A Map of Australia showing 106 future ready councils, along with sellers involved in the Marketplace.

Caption: A Map of Australia showing councils that are involved in building smarter cities.

It’s the week of the Australian Smart Communities Association conference in Adelaide and I’m excited to be writing about how the Digital Marketplace is supporting the excellent work of local governments around Australia.

Digital transformation is is easier if you have support, help and shared resources. During our recent discovery with local government, we talked to councils across Australia and found many were already pooling tangible things, like services and resources, but had no simple way of sharing intangible things, like innovative ideas, pilots and lessons learned.

The research revealed some great ideas about building smarter communities including:

  • continually engaging the people in the community to understand their evolving needs
  • using data to inform and drive change
  • improving services, such as waste management, through technology trials
  • getting buy in and building capability to deliver and scale ‘smart’ projects

What are we doing for councils?

We are partnering with the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program which aims to help councils improve their communities through smart initiatives. The program is providing $50 million in grants (available until 30 June) to encourage collaboration between local governments, private companies, research organisations and not for profit bodies.

To support this initiative, we have launched a new collaboration platform to help councils develop their approach and find private sector partners that can help them to build their smart city.

Who else is getting involved?

Councils have already begun sharing some of their initiatives and have blown us away with the innovation that is already happening in communities around Australia. Check out some of the recently posted projects:

What can councils do now?

Learn more about building smarter cities

For councils just starting out, the Future Ready series brings people together to work through urban challenges, take ideas forward and learn from each other. Register for a masterclass or webinar.

Post a brief on the Digital Marketplace

The Digital Marketplace is a new way for government (including local government) to buy digital services. Currently, about 25% of registered buyers are from local government. Any council can sign up and post a brief on the Digital Marketplace to find digital expertise or realise a digital outcome.

Share your project

No matter what stage your project is at, share it with other councils on our collaboration platform and connect with like-minded people building smarter communities.


Read the media release from Assistant Minister for Digital Transformation Angus Taylor.

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