The City is developing a plan to help boost the digital economy and improve services in our increasingly digital society.
Digital leadership will attract, inspire and support talent, provide more efficient and responsive services for residents, visitors and workers, and strengthen our reputation as a world-leading progressive government.
I asked Council to develop a digital strategy that will help the City:
- connect and communicate with residents, ratepayers and visitors
- provide more efficient and responsive services and save money
- take advantage of new technologies and digital infrastructure
- assess calls for new digital services - for example, better access to mobile web
- attract, support and retain technology talent and boost the digital economy
- take advantage of the roll-out of the national broadband network (NBN).
The 2011 Census shows that, across the board, digital jobs are highly concentrated in inner-city Sydney, with the City's share increasing since 2006, at times dramatically. Digital businesses can grow fast, with high regional, national and even international impact. In Sydney, this offers the opportunity of a long term, sustainable industry that suits our strengths.
The City's already supporting the sector through strategic use of Council property as affordable space for start-ups; as part of the advisory team for Digital Sydney (with the NSW Government); and through our support for UTS's Creative Industry Innovation Centre.
As well as supporting entrepreneurs, our internal systems support a large workforce and a significant property and community facilities portfolio, while residents, workers and visitors increasingly access information and communicate online or on mobile phones and they expect to communicate with the City online with responsive and reliable "always on" web/mobile services.
We're gauging the community's opinions through digital consultation and our libraries and business seminars are helping residents and small-to-medium businesses use new technology. Rates and childcare payments can already be made online and the City's Online Business Gateway project is looking at approaches to allow residents and ratepayers to report issues, with a pilot program of mobile phone apps planned for these transactions.