Sunshine Coast named Australia's smartest city
A TECHNOLOGICAL vision becoming the Sunshine Coast's reality has earned the region top gong at the inaugural Smart City Awards.
Sunshine Coast Council beat out national competition, including capital cities Brisbane and Adelaide, to be named Australia's Leadership City on Tuesday night.
Council was praised for its data sharing, investment in IoT technology, free public Wi-Fi and a 15KW solar farm that offsets all council's energy use and is expected to deliver $22 million in savings to ratepayers over the next three decades.
The Sunshine Coast Council took home one third of the nine titles up for grabs, including the Regional Leadership Award, while council's Smart City Framework lead Michael Whereat was acknowledged with the Government Leader Award.
Mr Whereat is the former president of the Australian Smart Communities Association, has driven an agenda of smart cities projects including the international submarine cable project, and drafted Queensland's first fibre-to-the-premises code for a planning scheme.
Economic development portfolio councillor Stephen Robinson said taking out top prize was a tremendous honour and "outstanding feat" given Sunshine Coast Council was up against tough competition including Adelaide, Ipswich, Brisbane and Canterbury Bankstown.
Telstra and Deloitte partnered with Smart Cities Council Australia New Zealand to present the awards, which recognise leadership, celebrate best practice and stimulate action to advance the smart cities movement.
"We believe that adopting smart city technologies will provide real opportunities to build a stronger economy, develop a stronger and safer community, improve service delivery to residents, businesses and visitors," Cr Robinson said.
"Significant progress has been made in our region since council launched the Smart City Framework in 2015, which was introduced to help create a smart and digitally connected Maroochydore City Centre.
"Council has harnessed a host of technologies to create a more liveable region, including the first whole-of-region smart Wi-Fi, smart bins and water meters, street lighting as well as sensors for parking and to monitor wildlife and waterways."
Are you happy with the Coast's smart city technologies?
This poll ended on 01 December 2018.
Yes, it's good to see us moving forward.
No, it seems unnecessary.
We could always do more.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Cr Robinson said the Aura, Palmwoods and Landsborough developments had smart city solutions either installed or planned for the future.
He added council's Smart Centre in Bulcock St, Caloundra had welcomed more than 2500 visitors since it opened in 2016, and this year hosted the first public demonstration of light fidelity technology in the Asia-Pacific region.
Cr Robinson said council's solar farm was another example of nation-leading smart technology.
Since it opened in 2017, the farm has enabled council to offset about 107 per cent of its electricity consumption.