City of Wanneroo to chase Federal funding for rail and wetlands projects

Stock image.
Stock image.

THE City of Wanneroo will seek federal funding for rail and wetlands projects through the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.

The council decided at its June 27 meeting to pursue funds for its Rail Smart and Yellagonga Wetlands Smart Sensor Monitoring programs as both were identified as key projects through recent community consultation for the City’s Strategic Community Plan 2017-18 to 2026-27.

Each project aims to use technology, innovation and data to improve efficiency, connect real time data to decision-making, provide opportunities for local business and attract investors to the region.

The Rail Smart Program proposes to use technology to analyse public transport data gathered from train users at the Clarkson, Butler and Joondalup train stations, and the terminating station of Mandurah.

The data and analysis would be used to inform the design of future stations of Alkimos, Eglinton and Yanchep.

“We have set ourselves a target of delivering 100,000 new local jobs in the City over the next decade,” Mayor Tracey Roberts said.

“Our ability to reach this target will rely heavily on the establishment of ‘activity centres’ in close proximity to, or easily connected with, the City’s key transport links – our train stations.

“The proposed Rail Smart Program will help ensure these centres are planned and delivered to attract the businesses, residents, visitors and tourists that will support local employment opportunities on the scale we are targeting.”

If the funding application is successful, the program will involve partnerships with the Planning and Transport Research Centre, ECU, UWA, Curtin University, the Department of Transport and Water Corporation.

The Yellagonga Wetlands Smart Sensor Monitoring Program proposes an innovative way to manage and protect the wetland system using environmental sensors.

The sensors would enable close monitoring of a variety of environmental factors from nutrient and water levels to flora health, acid sulphate levels and environmental triggers for midge outbreaks.

Once established, the program would assist the City and its partners to respond more quickly to environmental concerns as they arise and keep the community informed.

Yellagonga Regional Park is jointly managed by the Department of Parks and Wildlife, cities of Wanneroo and Joondalup, with land tenure vested in the Conservation Commission of WA and the WA Planning Commission.

Additional project partners include ECU, who would undertake research of nutrient levels, and the Department of Water.

According to the June 27 council report, each project would need a $1 million budget of cash and in-kind, with half covered by the federal grant and the City allocating $200,000 over two years.

The council report said the City’s Strategic Economic Growth 2016-2021 strategy focused on initiatives to stimulate investment, with focus areas in agribusiness, clean technology, advanced manufacturing and engineering.

“Transformational initiatives require certain key ingredients for success – connectedness is critical,” it said.

“What is needed is smarter use of information and communications technology to stimulate innovation, collection and analysis of real time data to inform decision-making.

“The Smart Cities and Suburbs Program provides an opportunity for the City of Wanneroo to establish its reputation as a Smart City whilst undertaking a project that is of strategic importance to the City and region.”

It said the program aimed to improve sustainability of cities through technology, increase information available and encourage innovation.

The report said the rail program would monitor travel behaviour of local residents, including passenger movements at train stations.

Councillors endorsed both submissions at the June 27 meeting and noted municipal funding would be allocated through the mid-year review.

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