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Getting smart with street lights

Weekly column from Council Courier e-newsletter by CEO Greg Hallam on Friday, 18 November 2016.

They line just about every city and suburban street in Queensland and, with a little care and attention, they can help local councils achieve big benefits in efficient management of the community’s assets.

I’m talking about street lighting and its potential to boost local councils several rungs up the ladder in ensuring their constituents gain the full advantage of increased connectivity and the advent of smart communities technology.

Smart street lighting is just one of the subjects I and some senior LGAQ executives covered during a visit to Melbourne this week. Myself, the LGAQ’s innovation lead Lou Boyle, LGIS chief executive Jari Ihalainen and senior staff talked smart communities and smart homes with Telstra senior executives at their Australian headquarters.

We had two full days of intense briefings about what new technology can do for councils and the communities they serve. It’s fair to say we are a good way down the track on smart lighting, smart meters, WiFi in a box and mobility and parking solutions, plus a few more commercial in confidence surprises.

Whilst Telstra takes the lead in many of these initiatives there have been a number of other major global organisations with whom we have been talking, including the last few days here in Melbourne.

It's not all about cities and the NBN. Much of our time has been focussed on improving services and bringing innovation to the bush and indigenous communities as we follow our credo of it's not where you live but how you live.

The work LGIS is doing with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Boeing and Intel to track out of sight drones over hundreds of kilometres is but one example of that approach. This will lead to work with other leading global institutions to set the standard in drone tracking

Expect to hear and see a lot more from us on smart communities in 2017. That’s our mission: CONNECT INNOVATE ACHIEVE writ large.

While we were in Melbourne, President Mark Jamieson was meeting with indigenous mayors in Cairns at a housing summit. He also caught up with Deputy Premier Jackie Trad and Housing Minister Mick de Brenni and, of course, with Cairns City Council itself.

It’s only been a month since he was elected President but already Mark has spoken to everyone from the Prime Minister down and travelled to Birdsville, Toowoomba and Cairns. His next trip as LGAQ President will be to St George in a fortnight.


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