Commentary: The drive for a 'Digitally Built' Australia: Page 2 of 2

Thu, 2018-03-01 12:38 -- SCC Partner

The key enablers
The opportunity for Australia is huge and there is an increasing awareness of this. In September, for example, the Government unveiled a new paper, The Digital Economy, Opening up the Conversation.

The paper conceded that “rapid developments in technology and science are changing the way we live, work and do businesses. These changes come with challenges… they also present opportunities to increase wellbeing and secure Australian jobs and prosperity.”

Last month, the Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation, the Hon. Angus Taylor MP, announced the outcomes of Round 1 of a Smart Cities and Suburbs Program, to support the delivery of ‘innovative, smart city projects that improve the liveability, productivity and sustainability of cities and towns across Australia.”

The investment equated to almost $40 million with successful projects co-funded by partners including local governments, industry, research organisations and the private sector. A second funding round is expected to open for applications in the first half of 2018.

State governments are taking proactive steps towards the adoption of BIM. In March 2016 for example, the Queensland Government released a State Infrastructure Plan outlining its roadmap for the enabling the implementation of BIM into all major state infrastructure projects by 2023.

On a grassroots level, organisations such as the Australian British Chamber of Commerce are doing excellent work in sharing expertise and ideas from the UK experience with speakers from BSI and others at a wide variety of events.

My own experience, based in Melbourne with PCSG, has seen us supporting public and private clients in becoming more productive and reducing waste across their portfolios through developing and delivering digital strategies.

Opportunities and next steps
It is clear from digital government programmes in place in the UK and Singapore that Australia has much to gain from its own Digital Built Australia programme.

Such a programme should provide leadership on the modernisation of our planning and delivery of the built environment. It should also align areas including BIM, the provision of Smart Cities and relevant technological advances such as the Internet of Things.

This too is clear – that to deliver the built environment Australia needs for the 21st century, Australian governments (Commonwealth and State) and the private sector, will need to work together.

This article was written by Gavin Cotterill and appeared in