Switching on Darwin with $5 million for CCTV, smart lights, wifi and parking sensors

Release Date: 
12 November 2017
Media release

Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation
The Hon. Angus Taylor MP

Senator for the Northern Territory
Minister for Indigenous Affairs
Senator the Hon. Nigel Scullion


Darwin has been awarded a $5 million Australian Government technology grant to ‘switch on’ the city and take forward an economy-boosting Darwin City Deal.

Darwin’s Smart Technology Project has been announced as one of 52 successful projects totalling $28.5million under Round One of the Australian Government’s inaugural Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.

Under the Program, funding will flow to communities across Australia, with 40% of successful projects located in regional areas.  

The City of Darwin will partner with the Northern Territory Government to install CCTV cameras at entrances to the city, along Daly Street and Bennett Street. Street lighting will be upgraded to LED lighting and on ‘smart’ columns with the capacity to adjust lighting to reduce street crime. In Bicentennial Park, smart lighting will include sound monitoring to detect people in distress and potentially notify policy and emergency services. The free wifi network will be expanded in key tourist and shopping areas. Smart parking sensors will indicate available parking and reduce congestion and emissions.

Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation Angus Taylor joined with NT Senator and Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion, the NT’s Deputy Chief Minister Nicole Manison, NT Assistant Minister for a Vibrant CBD Paul Kirby and the Lord Mayor of Darwin, Kon Vatskalis, to announce the successful project.

“This will be a multi-layered communication network to let Darwin plug in different types of technologies and literally ‘switch on’ the city,” Assistant Minister Taylor said.

“The Smart Cities and Suburbs Program wants to support clever ideas that fix problems and can be replicated in other places, particularly in the outer suburbs of our cities and the regions.

“We’ve already agreed to work with the NT Government on a future City Deal for Darwin, and this project will support the City Deal’s aim of creating a more vibrant and liveable city and revitalising Darwin’s CBD.”

Minister Scullion welcomed the news and commended the City of Darwin and stakeholders for their innovation.

"Technology enables us to stay in front and creates jobs for our city,” Minister Scullion said.

"It allows business to keep moving and growing and I'm rapt Darwin is receiving this investment."

The City of Darwin and the Northern Territory Government will both contribute $2.5 million to see the $10 million project become a reality.

NT Deputy Chief Minister Nicole Manison said the collaboration builds on the work already underway in the Territory to transform Darwin into a tourist and cultural destination. 

"This $2.5 million injection, as part of a collaboration with the Federal Government and the City of Darwin, will work alongside some of our other immediate initiatives to attract people into the CBD," Ms Manison said.

City of Darwin Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis said the funding would help the city develop leading edge infrastructure that was aligned with the city’s vision and digital strategy.

“This is a really exciting time for Darwin and I look forward to working with the Australian Government, Northern Territory Government and other key stakeholders to transform Darwin into a smarter city.”

The $50 million Smart Cities and Suburbs Program is a key element of the Government’s Smart Cities Plan. More information on the Program and the Smart Cities Plan is available at https://cities.dpmc.gov.au/.

Round Two of the $50 million Smart Cities and Suburbs Program is expected to open in the first half of 2018.