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This year, the annual GovHack event will challenge local innovators to hack into Moreton Bay Region Concil’s open data and engage in creating real-world solutions for the region.

GovHack is the largest open data hackathon in the southern hemisphere and one of the largest in the world. Hosted by Queensland’s USC Moreton Bay, the event is open to people of all abilities and challenges them to make productive use of the wealth of open data available in everyday life. This year’s event will be held online to ensure compliance with COVID-19 restrictions around Australia and in New Zealand.

Moreton Bay Mayor, Peter Flannery, said the Council enthusiastically supported this initiative as part of its ambition to give the region a competitive advantage in the digital age.

“We want to engage people of all ages and get them thinking about how they can solve tomorrow’s problems today, using government data,” Mr Flannery said.

“This competition pits locals against the best hackers in Australia and New Zealand, and they’ll be competing against people working in government, industry and academia as well as students.

“No experience in open data is required, just a passion to contribute to a solution.

“It is free to participate, come along and join a team and take a crack at one of the challenges to win prizes.”

A group of Moreton Bay business, education and government collaborators, including Moreton Bay Regional Council and USC, have created three challenges for this year’s event:

  • Jobs and growth for Moreton Bay: Ideas could include using Internet of Things (IoT) data to understand how Council facilities are used, what influences use of parks and pathways and how this might help local businesses, new technologies, and business ideas for the future
  • Sustainable Moreton Bay: Ideas could include tracking and monitoring the health of the regions koalas, circular economy solutions, and climate change mitigation strategies
  • Deadly choices for Moreton Bay: Ideas could include ready supply of fresh fruit and vegetables for socio-economic disadvantaged groups, art trails, professional development and skills building

Mr Flannery said knowledge and innovation was a key pillar of the new Regional Economic Development Strategy, with a specific focus on developing young people’s entrepreneurial abilities.

“I wish them the very best of luck in this competition and hope they bring home a win for the Moreton Bay Region.”

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