As part of the Victorian Government’s Community Activation and Social Isolation (CASI) initiative, Council has been successful in receiving funding to extend the proposed Clunes and Creswick free community Wi-Fi project to Daylesford and Trentham.

The CASI Special Projects fund invited submissions for projects that deliver on the expected outcomes of the CASI initiative which include:

  • Isolated and vulnerable people receive the support and resources they need to be healthy and well during COVID-19 response and recovery, and
  • Isolated and vulnerable people have new social connections in their local communities.

In the 2016 Australian Census, the number of dwellings which did not have an internet connection was higher in Hepburn Shire than State and National averages. This means more people in Hepburn than average can’t access the internet from their home. In some disadvantaged areas, less than 60% of homes are connected to the internet.

The Hepburn Shire Free Community Wi-Fi project will provide Creswick, Clunes, Daylesford and Trentham main street areas with free 24/7 access to Wi-Fi. This resource aims to allow community members, who would otherwise not be able to access online services, to do so.

The service will only be available in the main streets and built-up areas of the Shire. To access the free Wi-Fi services, users will need to have their own Wi-Fi enabled device.

Council acknowledged the funding support of Catherine King MP and the Victorian State Government for their support of this project.

Free community Wi-Fi is expected to be available from 30 June 2021.