Tallaganda Shire has a population of 2,606 people, and is the most sparsely settled Shire in the South East of New South Wales. Approximately 60 percent of its ratepayers are absentees who do not have access to Council’s office during normal office hours.
The main population centre in the Shire is Braidwood.
Faced with the danger of Braidwood’s only Bank – Westpac, being lost to the town, Council secured funding of $326,853 to establish a Rural Transaction Centre, incorporating a Westpac In-store, Centrelink services, Medicare Easyclaim and personal, student and business support services.
Tallaganda’s Centre will have an optical fibre telecommunications connection providing much faster access speeds than local people currently have with their personal and business computers.
It is proposed to incorporate an access centre into the facility to provide Federal and State Government services, business services and personal services online. The project also includes establishing a library in the Centre.
Council has also become a pilot for the development of an electronic service delivery and knowledge management system by commerce@work. This will provide the public with access to up to date Council and community information and Local Government services on line and overcome difficulties encountered by small Councils in maintaining a web presence.
These steps are part of Council’s aim of developing a local telecommunications industry that will provide new job opportunities for local youth.