Source: Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston, (31/7/03)
Posted: 02:40 pm 01-08-2003
Seven regional communities throughout New South Wales (NSW) will benefit from an Australian Government investment of more than $800,000 to establish and operate Community Technology Centres (CTCs), the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston, announced today.
The new CTCs in the communities of Dorrigo, Doyalson, Gerringong, Nabiac and Wallaga Lake, and additional funding for existing centres in Singleton and Scone, will allow local residents, businesses and tourists to access modern online technology and services.
CTCs are dedicated technology hubs that enable residents to access online services and training - targeting towns with fewer than 3,000 residents, and local government coverage areas of fewer than 10,000 people.
The CTC funding will be used to buy computer software and equipment and provide public Internet access, training and business services. The centres will also be managed by the community - which means that residents can have control over the services delivered to ensure they are appropriately targeted to local needs.
This funding will be delivered through the joint Commonwealth-State CTC Program funded under the Australian Government's highly successful Networking the Nation (NTN) program. It is the seventh funding round in the Australian Government's total CTC funding of $8.2 million.
To date, 99 regional communities have benefited from the establishment of CTCs - nearly half of which are smaller outreach centres serviced by a nearby CTC. The Australian Government is working collaboratively with the NSW State Government which is providing support for the CTC program including advice, networking and financial assistance worth a total of $7.2 million.
This is an excellent example of the Australian Government working in partnership with local communities to bridge gaps in telecommunications services, access and costs between urban and non-urban Australia. The establishment of CTCs means that residents and visitors to these communities will benefit from online services and training - something which has not been financially viable in the past because of high set-up and maintenance costs.
Over time, CTCs will provide an increasing range of services identified as priorities by local businesses and residents including learning opportunities, online business advice, web development and hosting. The high level of cooperation between community and business groups is demonstrated by an ever-increasing number of joint project proposals.
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