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Stakeholders spruik the internet

21 July 2000

Ballarat business leaders became acquainted with one of the district's newest sources of on-line information yesterday. is a community- based Internet project by the Chamber of Electronic Commerce and Communications. The aim is to bring together community groups and businesses in the Western District to be accessed through a single website, or portal.

Representatives from Small Business Victoria, VECCI, the Central Highland Area Consultative Committee and The Courier were among the group who took part in a discussion and presentation by project leader Helen Thompson. Ms Thompson said the aim was to introduce the representatives to MainStreet and begin marketing it. contains information about businesses and community projects from Bacchus Marsh to the South Australian border. It also contains tools to help people get onto the Internet and access training and referrals to regional website developers. "The site is a place to access tools to advance the uptake of eCommerce," Ms Thompson said. "It seeks to break down the barriers of high cost and expertise that might prevent people from getting onto the web." Local government can also use MainStreet to make their services more accessible.

"If someone wants information about building permits, and they can't get to the shire offices, they can look on the web," Ms Thompson said. One of the key features of MainStreet is teaching the participants how to keep their information current.

MainStreet will be launched in Ballarat at the SMB Brewery Complex next Wednesday.

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