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    REVOLUTIONARY: From left, Digital Twins Victoria program strategic lead Dr Adam Mowlam, Ararat mayor Jo Armstrong and Ararat council chief executive Dr Tim Harrison during an information session about Ararat’s inclusion in the program. Picture: DEAN LAWSON

Ararat pilot for regions' Digital Twin Victoria project


Planners working to streamline everything from asset and risk management to development and socio-economic opportunities in Ararat will soon be using some of the most cutting-edge data-analysis technology in Victoria.

Ararat has won selection as a regional pilot for a Digital Twin Victoria project that uses artificial intelligence to duplicate real-world circumstances in a digital world.

Digital recreation of real-
world scenarios based on data sets entered into the system, allows for clear visualisation of a study area or project in one place at the same time. 

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Through simulation it can dramatically help planners streamline processes by providing
clear and concise detailing.

A digital representation of a real-world object or system can include shared data between government, industry, research and community sectors to paint a project picture or simulation with great accuracy.

The technology is in use around the world, as well as Melbourne, to find the best ways to manage complex challenges surrounding urban renewal, sustainable living and technological adaptation.

Ararat Rural City Council chief executive Tim Harrison said while introducing an information session about the program that it was part of an Ararat plan to ‘win the recovery’.

He said the pilot announcement was part of an exciting fortnight for the council and community that had also included an advanced free wi-fi project for the rural city, the first sods turned at Green Hill Lake residential development and further progress of a biomass power station in getting through an initial engineering phase.

“We are positioning ourselves to win the recovery and that’s where we need to be,” he said.

Digital Twin Victoria program strategic lead Dr Adam Mowlam provided insight into how the project worked at an introductory session at Alexandra Oval Community Centre.

“We do a lot of work in the twin space in metropolitan Melbourne and we saw this as an opportunity to work with a rural and regional city,” he said.

Dr Mowlam said the digital-
twin system was designed for use by general people who wanted to get more value from data sets.

He said the system was about realising the full potential of data by bringing it together.

Dr Harrison said being part of the digital-twin program took Ararat ‘to the next step’.

“Basically, a digital twin uses data from the real world to build a virtual reality duplicate of an object or place in the digital world, which creates its digital twin,” he said. 

“In a practical sense, this technology can then be applied via a range of ways to test and fine-tune processes to reduce risk and boost productivity.   

“This includes simulating plant machinery operation in various conditions to optimise performance and predict maintenance requirements. 

“It is also the key to smart farming via the virtualisation of weather, soil conditions and on-farm machinery and resources to simulate corrective and preventative action by evaluating the impact of various scenarios in the physical world on its digital surrogate.”

Ararat mayor Jo Armstrong said the concept presented the municipality with an opportunity to expand thinking about what was possible.

“These technologies allow us to be far more imaginative and embrace the scope of using data to apply in local circumstances to dream big, as we like to do in Ararat,” she said.

Dr Harrison: “What we want to do is ensure rural Victoria stays on the map with these types of projects. 

“It’s  easy for these projects to become metropolitan focused and we need to have rural exemplars of how this can work.

“Ararat is in a great position because we are a can-do council. We have to move forward and start to put ourselves on the map technologically.

“We’re getting a reputation as a council that wants to do new things, that wants to interact outside our own sector. 

“We don’t have tunnel vision, we see that most of the solutions to our problems don’t exist within local government – they exist outside it. 

“I think there’s a growing recognition at state and federal government level that we’re the people to turn to when you want to do something different and try something new.”

The entire November 24, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire November 24, 2021 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!