The New South Wales government has announced that it will be expanding its Spatial Digital Twin to cover the entire state over the next two years, thanks to a AU$40 million investment from the NSW Digital Restart Fund (DRF).
The expansion follows the launch of the state government's Spatial Digital Twin in February last year. At launch, there were virtual representations of eight "high growth" councils in the state on the platform. These included the Blue Mountains, Camden, Campbelltown, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Liverpool, Penrith, and Wollondilly.
Minister for Digital and Customer Service Victor Dominello believes expanding the tool to cover the rest of the state will help further transform urban planning and infrastructure.
"This digital architecture makes it possible to visualise a development digitally before it is physically built, making it easier to plan and predict outcomes of infrastructure projects, right down to viewing how shadows fall, or how much traffic is in an area," he said.
"In the last 12 months the Spatial Digital Twin has received 18 million requests for access to 3D datasets. We are creating a digitally cutting-edge state that will benefit from all the productivity advantages and job creation this technology brings."
Alongside this, Dominello announced that the Department of Customer Service's spatial services team and CSIRO's Data61 have developed a mobile-friendly version of the digital twin platform, which is now live.
"By boosting access to the Spatial Digital Twin through smartphones and tablets, the NSW government is making it easier for customers to collaborate and gain planning information about their streets, neighbourhoods, and communities," he said.
The state government added it will be developing a new platform known as the Live.NSW customer platform aimed to "deliver a simplified user experience which allows the community to search for information based on their needs and places of interest".
Due to launch early next year, Live.NSW will include snapshot information about existing infrastructure, such as local schools, and what is planned for the future.
"The Live.NSW customer platform can be used to inform life decisions like where to move based on school catchments, as well as improving engagement with government planning and delivery," Dominello said.
"Live.NSW will be highly visual, interactive, and easy to use, with customers able to search their suburb and check information available in their area that is relevant to their needs."
The announcements come a day after NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet announced during his 2021 Bradfield Oration on Thursday evening that the state government will be establishing a Department of Enterprise and Investment, which will include the creation of a new role in cabinet, Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology, to oversee collaboration between government and universities.
He also announced the appointment of a Commissioner for Modern Manufacturing, which he described is a role that will be responsible for identifying "local research and ideas that we can turn into manufacturing opportunities".
The work carried out by the commissioner will be supported by a taskforce headed by Venues NSW chairman Tony Shepherd, Perrottet said.