Federal smart conference to maximise benefits

The House Standing Committee on Infrastructure announced a new smart infrastructure conference in Canberra when Parliament returns in 2010.

“This will have implications for governments and business in sectors such as transport, energy, communications and water,” House Standing Committee on Infrastructure chair, Catherine King said.

The conference will focus on ways to maximise the potential benefits of embedding smart technology into Australia’s infrastructure.

This included using smart technology to increase the productivity of existing infrastructure, community uses for smart infrastructure, smart infrastructure’s role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, opportunities for and benefits of new investment in smart infrastructure and maximising smart infrastructure opportunities through government project selection processes.

Ms King said by hosting this conference, the Committee was seeking to begin an ongoing engagement with the Australian community as part of its new inquiry into smart infrastructure.

“Smart infrastructure can improve safety and reduce congestion in our cities,” Ms King said.

“It can dramatically improve our quality of life and boost productivity.”

Smart infrastructure can open up restricted routes in cities to significantly improve travel times and quality of life, Ms King said.

Ms King said intelligent transport systems, improved communications and smart electricity grids were the “way of the future” as Australia’s urban areas responded to increasing population.

Examples of smart infrastructure included air traffic control global navigation surveillance systems, traffic signalling that adjusted to peak periods, smart electricity grids delivering more efficient energy use and utilising mobile networks for greater work efficiency.