It’s hoped that Bendigo will be among one of the leading regional centres in the “new digital economy”, as local businesses look to capitalise on the rollout of the National Broadband Network.
Working group NBN4Bendigo said Bendigo industries were preparing to adapt their approach to make the most of high-speed internet.
NBN4Bendigo project consultant Margaret O’Rourke said the innovation must happen now.
“It’s about getting ready for it before the rollout,” she said.
“When we started the work we began last September, every week we had different ideas to differentiate Bendigo from other regional areas.”
Former Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett is helping promote the benefits of NBN for regional centres and said Bendigo was well placed to take advantage of the new infrastructure. “It will take business opportunity models and new markets and new sources of finance to exploit those opportunities (of the NBN),” he said.
“I’ve met businesses that are changing business models in property development, health, and other industries.
“Bendigo’s got innovative business people and a great community spirit. With the right digital strategy those building blocks can come together for a regional digital city.”
Mr Bartlett said high-speed broadband would create new opportunities for business and better health services in regional Victoria.
“The rollout is one thing but we need to figure out, what are we going to do with high speed broadband? How are we going to create new jobs? How are we going to create more productivity?”
The NBN is allocated to be rolled out in Bendigo within the next three years.