Ballarat, Victoria


The third-largest city in the state of Victoria, Ballarat once was a mineral and agricultural boom town, but global market changes decimated its economy in the 1990s and drove unemployment to nearly 20%. In response, city government, community leaders and the state collaborated on a long-term economic development plan focusing on attracting ICT companies, leveraging higher education and fostering digital inclusion. Today, Ballarat has the largest technology park in Australia, home to 30 companies employing 1,400 people. Broadband penetration, at only 53% of homes, is poised to accelerate through early roll-out of Australia’s National Broadband Network. Local ICT champions, working with the city’s universities, have helped spawn a wave of startups and research institutes. The community has also invested in its at-risk youth and indigenous population with specialized training in skills and digital literacy to equip them for success in the new economy.

Population: 95,000


Smart21 2013

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