The Connected pillar focuses on the infrastructure required to connect Victorians across the state, country and globe. The connectivity of both Metropolitan and Regional Victoria is crucial for the State’s success. Improving physical and non-physical connectivity within the State increases standards of living, unlocks productivity and increases opportunity for all Victorians.
Connection to society and access to opportunity are the basis of many positive social and economic outcomes. Technology and digital tools are modern vehicles for social connection and community cohesion, which improves individual and community wellbeing and increases productivity and economic growth. Ensuring the whole state has equal opportunity to benefit from technology is crucial for Victoria to be a fair society and meet the needs of all Victorians.
People who feel more connected to others have lower levels of anxiety and depression. They have higher self-esteem, greater empathy and are more trusting and cooperative. By creating social connection through community participation, community safety and security is enhanced and loneliness and isolation are reduced.
Connection is also related to the flow and ease of movement of people. When people can move around easily, including via efficient public transportation and transport systems, they are provided with greater independence and access to employment, community resources, medical care and recreational opportunities. Ease of movement creates a healthier population and reduces barriers to participation in society, reduces unproductive time spent in transit and reduces inequality.
The efficient flow of goods through reliable delivery and freight movement is essential to economic growth. Ensuring that freight movement is efficient and meets the needs of industry and business will not only reduce delays and congestion, but future-proof supply chains and make them more environmentally sustainable.