The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted some of the impacts of digital disadvantage. It made it clear that everyone needs to be able to use digital technology. As businesses and the government are doing more things online, it is now even more crucial.
The Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII) shows most people in the rest of Sydney have better and cheaper internet than people in Western Parkland City. They also have better digital skills.
The Western Parkland City Digital Equity and Inclusion Insights Program will uncover the reasons for this. It will also offer better access to programs and information to help people get online.
Western Parkland City is comprised of 8 local government areas:
The vision for the City is to be an inclusive and digitally capable region. A region where people are the focus, and everyone has equal access to technologies that benefit and create opportunities.
The Australian Digital Inclusion Index (2023) has shown that the Outer West and South-West of Sydney scored significantly lower than the Eastern City in many digital areas. These areas included key variables such as access, affordability, ability and awareness. Lack of these factors can lead to the widening of the gap in the digital divide.
Mainstream and government services are increasingly moving to digital platforms. There is a need to ensure all members of our community can participate in the digital ecosystem. This is critical for community wellbeing and growth, and to ensure equal access to opportunities.
This project will help to understand the depth and breadth of digital exclusion. The information will be used to develop interventions to support digital inclusion and form an evidence base to inform broader policy. It will help with program interventions in addition to local strategic initiatives.
This program focuses on 2 key objectives:
1. Understand the depth and breadth of digital exclusion across the councils.
2. Provide access to new, targeted programs, and guidance to help close the growing digital divide.
Smart Places outcome areas:
- equity, accessibility and inclusion
- skills, jobs and development.
The successful delivery of this program will enable the Western Parkland City to be a truly ‘smart’ city. It will create equitable opportunities for all members of the community.
The project will also improve our understanding of the barriers to digital inclusion across Western Parkland City.
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