Hello from Amsterdam

This time to report, not on developments in the Netherlands, but on the progress of the Dutch Smart City mission that will be arriving in Australia at the end of October.

This year is the 400th anniversary of the landing of Dirk Hartog in what is now Shark Bay, Western Australia. He placed an inscribed pewter plaque on a pole at what is now known as Inscription Point). This was the first European historic artefact on Australian soil.

To celebrate the anniversary the King and the Queen of the Netherland will make an official visit to Australia, and they will bring with them a trade delegation that will include a 25-person smart city delegation. The group includes representatives from local governments and private industry. I am assisting the Dutch Government to organise the mission, and for that purpose I am currently in the Netherlands.

The international group will visit seven cities during their week-long visit and meetings in these cities will be hosted by the local councils. They will start out in Adelaide and from there travel to Canberra, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Sydney, Ipswich and Sunshine Coast. These cities have been selected as being among the leading smart cities in Australia.

They will meet with local mayors and council directors, as well as with local businesses involved in the building of their smart cities. They will also visit various smart city projects in each of these cities.

On 3 November the Dutch Australian Smart City Summit will take place in Sydney, organised in collaboration with the Australian Smart Communities Association (ASCA). Ministers from both countries will attend this event. There will be presentations on the national smart plans of both countries and a discussion on how to assist each other in these developments. There will be presentations on the leading smart cities in the Netherlands (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Eindhoven) and ASCA’s president, Michael Whereat, will update the visitors on developments in Australia.

Panel discussions will take place and, in the presence of the Queen of the Netherlands, Her Majesty Maxima of Orange, ministers, and Mrs Lucy Turnbull, there will be an official signing ceremony between Australian smart cities and the abovementioned Dutch cities, as well as a larger international group of smart cities from Europe, North America and Asia (the GSC3 Alliance).

The Summit will end with a networking luncheon.

So, a busy week in the Netherlands ensuring that both sides will get the most out of this event.

Paul Budde

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