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On Tuesday 30 May 2017 The Hon Darren Chester MP, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, asked the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities, to conduct an Inquiry into the Australian Government’s role in the development of cities.  The Committee invites interested persons and organisations to make submissions addressing the terms of reference by 31 July 2017.

There are many different lenses that can be placed over this question. I want to know how the Australian government can make a real difference for my children growing up in our ever-changing Cities.  I think about our over consumption as a society and the stress it is putting our planet under.  If you’ve ever watched programs such as War on Waste, you’ll know what I am talking about.   And while I’ve always loved the idea of going to Mars, I prefer it to be on our terms and not because we have to leave this planet.

So, what advice will I be submitting that could help reduce our impact on our planet?  I will be suggesting making energy data easily accessible.

A simple statement that needs a bit of unpacking.  I believe, all energy data captured from premises should be treated in two ways:

  1. It should be anonymised, aggregated and made available for people and organisations to analyse.  This will lead to insights that will help shape policy for the public sector and generate investment opportunities for the private sector.
  2. Customers should have the ability to approve a third party to have near real-time access to their data, this can be used to find ways they can conserve energy and move to sustainable energy.

This is nothing radical.  If the data is being captured every day anyway, then it should be made available.  Those arguing that this introduces enormous costs either don’t want you to see the data, or don’t understand current technologies.  This approach will foster innovation. Public and private sector, industry experts and academics can all partner and use the data to find the best way to reduce the impact we are having on our planet.

My suggestion may appear simple, but I believe it would create a leap forward in our collective ability to solve the biggest challenge we all face.

What role do you see our government playing in the future of our cities?



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