The Andrews Labor Government is boosting digital technology infrastructure, skills and capability across the Ovens Murray.

The Labor Government’s $3.5 million Regional Digital Fund supports a broad range of important small-scale digital projects across Victoria including seven regional projects in the Ovens Murray region to increase digital capability, connectivity and infrastructure. The Ovens Murray Regional Partnership directs this funding using place-based analysis to identify gaps in our region’s current digital infrastructure, and makes recommendations on addressing those gaps.

The Wodonga City Council is delivering the Connecting Bonegilla project to build a microwave broadband connection at the Bonegilla Migrant Experience tourist facility to enable a better visitor experience through internet enabled guided tours and interpreting displays.

NE Tracks Local Learning and Employment Network is delivering an Animated Training Videos for All Abilities Workforce project focused on digital and social inclusion through workforce development.

The project has been a collaboration between Wangaratta Digital Hub and Merriwa Industries, one of Australia’s leading supported employment enterprises. The young people have gained in-demand digital technology skills whilst creating accessible training resources for Merriwa’s all abilities employees.

NE Tracks Local Learning and Employment Network also received funding for the iManage My Health project which is currently training volunteers to support and increase participation in community-based telehealth services and patient ‘self’ monitoring programs to address lower levels of digital inclusion and poor health.

Benalla Rural City Council will undertake a feasibility study to scope design options, evaluate and estimate capital costs required to implement a 10 Gigabit City Project in Benalla Rural City.

The Accelerating Ovens Murray Health Outcomes through Digital Innovation project included a report developed by Futureye Strategy which identifies high potential opportunities to use digital innovations to accelerate health outcomes in the Ovens Murray region. This 6-week consultancy identified commercial opportunities for digital innovation in healthcare.

Benalla Rural City Council’s Buy from North East Vic Acceleration program is assisting up to 1,500 small to medium sized businesses to get online through the Buy from North East Vic platform. The platform is a low-cost e-marketplace that integrates freight and is helping businesses to get online by providing them with training and building their digital skills for now and the future.

The Understanding Digital Literacy in the Ovens Murray Region project, delivered by the Wangaratta Rural City Council, is focused on creating better understanding of the digital literacy of businesses in Ovens Murray.

The Regional Digital Fund helps businesses and the community in regional Victoria by funding projects identified as priorities by each local Regional Partnership, investing up to $390,000 in each partnership region.

Digital connectivity and skills have been identified as key priorities across regional Victoria, and these projects focus on helping residents and businesses move beyond geographical and social barriers to economic growth.

All the Regional Digital Fund projects will help build digital technology infrastructure, skills and capability in regional Victoria, supporting ongoing competitiveness of regional businesses, emerging industries and helping to create local jobs.

In addition to the Ovens Murray region, other priority projects are rolling out across the state under the Fund in Barwon, Central Highlands, Gippsland, Goulburn, Great South Coast, Loddon Campaspe, Mallee and Wimmera Southern Mallee regions.

To find out more, visit rdv.vic.gov.au/resources/digital-plans/innovation-in-the-regions.

Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes

“Connecting Ovens Murray residents and businesses with the technology they need will play a key role in our state’s recovery from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.”