Community Technology Centres
6 November 2002 at 12:11 pm
Nine regional communities throughout NSW will now benefit from a Commonwealth Government investment of more than $1.4 million to establish and operate Community Technology Centres (CTCs).
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.
Managed by local community groups, funding will go towards purchasing computer software and equipment, and providing public Internet access, training and business services.
The new CTCs in the communities of Bombala, Crookwell, Grenfell, Kyogle, Mangrove Mountain, Old Bar, Pottsville, Tenterfield and Uralla will enable local residents and tourists to access modern online technology and services. A tenth community, Sussex Inlet, resubmitted a CTC proposal and had extra funding approved to enhance its operations.
The latest funding will be delivered through the Commonwealth’s Networking the Nation (NTN) program, and is the sixth funding round in the Government’s total CTC funding of $8.2 million. To date, more than 79 regional communities have benefited from the establishment of CTCs–nearly half of which are smaller outreach centres serviced by a nearby CTC.
The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston says that in partnership with local communities, the Government is working to bridge gaps in telecommunications services, access and costs between urban and non-urban Australia. This funding makes CTCs financially viable for towns where set-up and maintenance costs have been prohibitive.
Over time, CTCs will provide an increasing range of services identified by local businesses and residents including online business advice, web development and hosting. The high level of cooperation between community and business groups has been evident by the ever-increasing number of joint project proposals.
The Commonwealth Government is investing close to $400 million through NTN to enhance telecommunications services in regional Australia, with 775 projects since its establishment in 1997.
The Commonwealth is pleased to be working collaboratively with the NSW State Government that is providing a range of advisory, networking and financial support worth $7.2 million for the CTC program.