Forward

Dear Friends of Far West NSW,
In the Far West New South Wales region of Australia, we believe the strengths that our community has displayed in the past are the same strengths that can be revitalised with Internet technology to drive our future. The digital economy and high speed broadband will provide the foundations for Far West NSW to become a leading region in Australia (and the world) in:

  • exporting core mining skills and mining expertise across the globe
  • developing unique rural creative industry services
  • delivering remote education methodologies and processes
  • delivering remote health methodologies and processes
  • offering unique and iconic tourism experiences that encapsulate outback Australia

Whilst the region has some social challenges, including disenfranchised low income families, high unemployment, health issues, and disengaged youth, high speed broadband like that delivered by the National Broadband Network (NBN) provides the opportunity to tackle these issues in a variety of new ways. However, unless access to the digital economy is made available to all, there is a danger of a “digital divide” developing. The Far West NSW region is committed to ensuring that from the outset we build an inclusive strategy that will address the issue of a digital divide. What is more, the processes and strategies built in this region to counter the digital divide can become a blueprint for narrowing the gap throughout regional Australia. The rollout of the NBN presents the Far West NSW region with the best opportunity it has had in generations to develop our industry, including the interests of all our residents in the region, progress our region as a whole and truly commit to building an environmentally and commercially sustainable community. This strategy shares with you how our region intends to capitalise on this exciting new technology.

This strategy document will be available for public comment for three months, to end February 2012, and thereafter it will be a living document. It’s a digital economy strategy, but given the current infrastructure constraints in sections of our community, we will be accepting paper-based comments.

It is to be acknowledged that this strategy development has been jointly funded by RDA Far West NSW and the Broken Hill City Council. Thanks go to all the local stakeholders and community members who assisted in development of this early draft. We gratefully acknowledge the superior knowledge and understanding of this topic by our chosen subject matter expert, Fergal Coleman of Symphony 3.

Yours sincerely,
Regional Development Australia Far West NSW
&
Broken Hill City Council

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