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A Digital Future for Queensland now

Helping our regions harness, employ and engage with new media is the vital key to a sustainable future.

A Digital Plan for Queensland gets real

By Mark Miller

The recently launched Queensland Digital Economy Strategy makes an extensive amount of noise about A Digital Plan for Queensland regions, but of significance, has been the talk of “Communities that are well planned, well connected and engender community spirit”.

The Summit listed it as number two priority, followed by point four, “Regions that are attractive to study work and live in”. And point five “Delivery of economic, social and community benefits through infrastructure”.

It appears that the three of the top five priorities from the think-fest aimed at setting a future for the State have been squarely aimed at seeing regions such as this develop in an unprecedented fashion.

Add to this Minister Ian Walker’s calls for concepts concerning Queensland digital future and it’s impact into areas such as this and it becomes clear that on-line is set to become a way forward for many communities.

The questions that raises is how and who pays? When in fact what we should be saying as part of regional Queensland is how and what do we now need to do to encourage and facilitate the growth.

One of the big issues facing communities into the future is the perception across the larger eastern seaboard communities that rural Australia whinges and simply looks for handouts.

We have, somewhere along the line lost our cred. Our city cousins now see us as whingers rather than the backbone as we were rightly identified 60 years ago. We have to win that status back.

The old adage build and they will come has never rung more true.

Sure that’s the mind set with infrastructure but it also needs to become the community mind set. We need to ensure that we are using all of the advantages of the 21 st century to position us as vital and vibrant places.

We need now to ice the cake and we need to start doing that today. Plan’s and offers from State or Federal Governments rise and fall on what we as a community do with them. It is now up to us.

We tend to focus on what is to come and forget what is already on offer locally. Gradually and over time, that local message is replaced with a louder and stronger message external to the community. It then becomes more about down the road or around the world.

There does no doubt the web and social media’s ability to open doors and establish links at every level and those advantages that can bring.

By establishing clear parameters and working collaboratively with what is at hand creates an organic growth pattern that will see communities not only encourage local engagement but can also lure and broaden markets.

There is now a small window for communities in regional areas to begin to prepare for the onslaught of policy approaches which will aim to set their agenda.

Community needs to be about a united approach and a unified approach. It is what has the appeal and what makes it work.

Communities should remember that what makes them unique is their appeal. Their USP- (unique selling point). Those communities and their businesses and organisations are in fact their own flavour.

It’s about beginning today, to enjoy the policy and financial benefits that may flow from this prioritizing in the future.”