Innovation Centre CEO Mark Paddenburg.
Innovation Centre CEO Mark Paddenburg. Warren Lynam

Is the Sunshine Coast the smartest city in Australia?

OPPORTUNITY to blend the existing with the completely new, innovative leadership and a big-picture view make the Sunshine Coast the country's smartest city.

This is according to Innovation Centre CEO Mark Paddenburg, who is confident the region will be named the Smart City leader ahead of competitors in Brisbane, Ipswich, Adelaide and Canterbury-Bankstown.

Mr Paddenburg said Smart Cities were one area where not being a capital city helped, as their regional status meant greater drive, easier to measure success and fewer barriers to overcome.

Telstra and Deloitte are partnering with Smart Cities Council Australia New Zealand to present the inaugural award, which celebrates and stimulates the "Smart Cities movement".

The Sunshine Coast's nomination highlights council has "harnessed a host of technologies to create a more liveable city, including smart bins and water meters, parking, and sensors to monitor wildlife and waterways".

"The council's Smart Region Management Platform receives data from sensors, street lights and WiFi access points to manage service delivery in real time. Council's Smart Centre has welcomed more than 2500 visitors since opening in 2016," the nomination reads.

Mr Paddenburg said the region stood out for the collaboration and capability of local leaders such as the University of the Sunshine Coast, the Sunshine Coast Council, Regional Development Australia and local innovators.

"This region is unique in that the council/Sun Central is delivering a greenfield Smart City CBD at Maroochydore, which will act as a hub and spoke based on latest, greatest, enabling technologies with local and global input," Mr Paddenburg said.

"It's also about people, drive, commitment; a multi-pronged approach. The CBD, plus onshore cable, plus airport, plus uni, plus hospital, plus Innovation Centre, plus capacity-building programs, plus solar farm, together add up to critical mass."

Mayor Mark Jamieson was unavailable for comment, but a spokesman said council believed adopting Smart City technologies would provide real opportunities to build a stronger economy, develop a more engaged, connected and safer community and lead to improved accessibility to services for residents, businesses and visitors.

The winners will be announced October 30.



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