Future Focus: technology, communications and transport in regional Australia

The second edition of Future Focus magazine is out this week and enters the timely debate of connectivity.

Across the edition, which highlights the potential of regional and rural Australia, journalists and commentators take a look at the role of technology, communications and transport now and into the future - and how communities can employ infrastructure to their best advantage.

As Penelope Green writes in her article It takes a community: "Connectivity between regional communities and capital cities is essential for regional economic development ... But it also includes information and communication technologies and we must add to that 'social capital'."

The challenges of providing appropriate infrastructure, particularly digital technology, are well known. The Federal Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, writes in his introduction to Future Focus - Connecting our potential that economics firm Alpha Beta forecasts the NBN, once it is completed next year, could contribute an additional 20,000 jobs in regional Australia.

Catch up on the first edition of Future Focus here.

The magazine also features commentary from futurist Steve Sammartino on transport and driverless cars and the founder of illuminate Education Adam Mostogl on the connections that are important to small business in regional Australia.

With an ageing and dispersed population, journalist Lyndell Whyte explores the potential, as well as the limitations, of digital health: how it will benefit patients, providing equity in services and level of patient care. Rosie Ryan discusses how technology can benefit agriculture and industry through the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence.

Look for the Future Focus magazine in Friday's editions of the Canberra Times, Newcastle Herald, Illawarra Mercury, Launceston Examiner, Burnie Advocate, Border Mail, Ballarat Courier, Bendigo Advertiser, Warrnambool Standard, Wagga Daily Advertiser, Central Western Daily, Dubbo Daily Liberal, Western Advocate and Northern Daily Leader.

The magazine is also inserted in The Land and Stock & Land this week and Queensland Country Life on November 21.

All these stories and more will appear on the futurefocusproject.com.au website, where you can post comments, send a message to the decision-makers and debate the future of regional Australia with others. We hope you will join the discussion.

Future Focus is a project of Australian Community Media, publisher of this website. We acknowledge the support of partners the University of New England, Dell Australia and NBN Co.