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Browse our news stories about the activities and achievements of Queensland local councils and learn more about the challenges and issues affecting local government and their communities.

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Strong support for council owned smart street lighting

A proposal that would see councils own and upgrade the technology behind Queensland’s lighting network has attracted significant community support.

A survey conducted by the Local Government Association of Queensland showed 80% of the 1000 people surveyed support an outright purchase or a lease of the states 480,000 poles and wires network. A smart street lighting pole in Bulcock Street Coloundra

Mayor Jamieson said the backing was driven by support for a 40% reduction in energy consumption via the use of smart street lighting – the coupling of LED lights with smart controls. 

“This is something local government can do bigger, better and faster and for all of Queensland,” he said.

“Coupled with the provision of a whole array of new services like noise and environmental sensors, boosted wi-fi, charging points for electric vehicles and mobility devices – this would be a big leap forward into the 21st century.”

A feasibility report produced by Local Government Infrastructure Services suggests the current provider of street lighting – Energex, is focused upon its core business - distributing electricity.

“This position is not a criticism of Energex but for smart street lighting. The strengths of Energex are not aligned with the delivery of a transformative, disruptive, data-driven innovation across the region.” The report says.

“Investment in smart street lighting provides local governments the ability to improve this service by creating a community-centric approach to street lighting.”

The report provides a future snapshot of a Queensland with networked smart street lighting which would see not only a reduction in energy consumption, but a reduction in maintenance savings, removal of mercury containing lamps, adaptive lighting and flood monitoring.

Citing case studies, the report details the roll out of smart street lighting in Los Angeles, USA which has seen a 60% reduction in energy consumption, $2.5 million (USD) savings in maintenance per year and a reduction of 40,500 tons of CO2 per year.

Mayor Jamieson said that the proposed bid by the 100% council owned LGAQ was not an asset sale to the private sector, but a transfer of an asset from one level of government to another, “albeit on commercial terms.”

'It’s not enough to dip our toe in the water – we’re looking to establish Queensland as a world leader in this field."

“I hope the Queensland Government and Energy Queensland move quickly on the LGAQ’s genuine formal offer to purchase or lease these assets – all Queenslanders deserve these services sooner rather than later.”

Read More: LGIS and SEQ Council of Mayors Smart Street Lighting Feasibility Report