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Steering Committee key to “Smart City” success

Cairns Regional Councils plans for a Smart City must be driven by civic leaders in consultation with the community to maximise the benefits and potential for the region says Division 5 Councillor Richie Bates.

The CBD and inner suburbs Councillor who has championed the Smart City concept said, “We must not be dictated to by IT and Telco corporations prejudicially influencing want we want for Cairns, I call on a local smart city steering committee to decide the shape of our future in a tropical world city”

“Council has strong collaborative links to James Cook University and organisations such as Advance Cairns – We have access to all the expertise we need right here in the far north”

“JCU have set the scene for a Smart City partnership by creating the first ‘Internet of things’ training course in Australia, with the learning focused on new sensory technology combined with the latest data analytics, this curriculum is a Smart City building block”

Cr Bates continued, “It is vital that we take the community with us on this journey that will deliver a new age of services and efficiency through the cyberspace interconnection of urban utilities and devices”

“Smart phones will be able to connect with any number of other devices in real time to advise on parking availability, household water usage or receive a scheduled reminder for recyclable waste collection”

“The opportunity for energy savings and economic benefit is limitless with hi-tech sensors being able to detect human activity to turn on lighting and air conditioning only when required, or detect when a rubbish bin is full for collection, thus alleviating the need to service it when empty”

“In turn the data collected on utility activity is immediately used to reschedule services more efficiently and with less waste”

“This is a cultural change as much as anything, and ensuring the public and key stakeholders have a say in deciding their wants and needs is paramount if we want broad acceptance and usage of this concept and technology”

“And before we commit to the hardware we must first visualise what outcomes we desire for our city”

“We are only limited by our imagination as to what a Smart City can achieve, however the simple premise is too integrate any cities assets such as transport, power, tourism and water via information and communication technology with the goal of maximising services and efficiency”

“There are huge cost savings and conveniences for consumers and business in the adoption of this technology and this is why a new city centre master plan is to adopt the concept”

“A Smart City Steering Committee is the logical next step in this process; I look forward to its formation”