Gold Coast Council Faces Opposition to “Smart City” Agenda
Gold Coast councillors have been confronted by a group of concerned citizens who are closely monitoring the council’s “smart city” initiatives. The council’s plan to implement 15-minute smart cities was met with opposition from a group called Australia One, which spread the word through social media and garnered support from the Gold Coast MyPlace group. Approximately 150 people attended the council meeting, and many of them displayed placards expressing their objections to the proposed smart city agenda.
At the beginning of the meeting, Mayor Tom Tate, who is backed by the Liberal Party, delivered his opening remarks and acknowledged his attendance at various formal events. However, when it came time to discuss the 15-minute city agenda, it was revealed that it had been removed from the meeting’s agenda. Local councillor Brooke Patterson addressed the crowd, stating that the item was not on the agenda, but offered no further explanation or discussion.
This incident has brought attention to the Gold Coast City Council’s long-standing involvement in smart city projects. The council has previously implemented projects such as the Light Rail, which has had a negative impact on street-side businesses and car parking. Other projects include the water grid and desalination plant. One of the council’s more recent projects focuses on digital connectivity and data gathering, which are essential components of a smart city. By collecting data on residents’ movements and activities, the council aims to transform the Gold Coast into Australia’s leading digital city.
However, concerns have been raised about the implications of this data gathering for individual privacy and freedom. Critics argue that the data collected by the council will be used to further a technocratic agenda, where individuals are controlled and monitored within a digital prison. This perspective aligns with warnings from platforms like Technocracy News, which argue that the underlying force behind smart cities is control over people and resources. They claim that smart city planners prioritize controlling people rather than creating functional cities that serve the needs of the population.
To illustrate this point, Technocracy News highlights China’s mass relocation of farmers to megacities, a strategy that aims to consolidate resources and increase surveillance. The Chinese government monitors citizens’ actions, purchases, and associations, using a social credit system to limit access to privileges. This raises concerns about whether similar levels of control and surveillance may be introduced in the Gold Coast.
It is now incumbent on the Gold Coast City Council to address these concerns and explain their smart city plans to the public. Queenslanders who value their freedom deserve transparency and a comprehensive understanding of the potential implications of these initiatives. As smart city projects continue to be implemented across the globe, it is crucial for citizens to remain vigilant and engage in open dialogue about the future of their cities and personal freedoms.