• Jason Regan

Mallee Councils look to become Smart Cities

Four Mallee councils have joined forces to trial Internet of Things (IoT) technology in their offices.

Mildura, Buloke, Gannawarra and Swan Hill councils are participating in the 12-month Smart Cities project, which runs until June 2022. The trial will utilise sensors that capture data about how different assets and sites are used.

This information gathered will help the councils better plan for the provision of services. Mildura Rural City Council is leading the project, which is enabled through State Government funding.

Mildura Regional Development has partnered with the trial along with La Trobe University and Sunraysia Institute of TAFE. A total of 46 trial devices will be installed across the four council areas.

Some of the devices include:

  • People counters to determine how many people and when public facilities are being used such as playgrounds and public toilets

  • Water depth sensors to determine usage in pumping stations

  • Public litter bin sensors to alert when bins require emptying

  • Soil moisture monitoring to inform the watering of public ovals

Mildura Mayor Liam Wood

Mildura Mayor Liam Wood said building an Internet of Things network will pave the way for the Mallee to become collectively a Smart City.

“Being a Smart City means automatically collecting data and using the information to increase operational efficiency, share information with the public and improve the quality of council services. It is incredibly exciting that the Mallee is joining the Smart Cities revolution,” Cr Wood said.

Buloke Shire Council will be installing two types of sensors across five sites in Donald. The four public toilet locations within Donald will use nine infrared and heat sensors. These sensors will count the number of people who are using the facilities by sensing the heat entering and exiting the building.

Buloke Mayor Daryl Warren is looking forward to the outputs of the project.

“This will help Buloke to measure how frequently these public toilets are used and will help us to ensure that the toilets are kept clean, through periods of high demand”, Cr Warren said.
"We have also setup a smart counting sensor that will soon be used to give us a better understanding of the usage of airport located within the township of Donald
Sensors will be installed in different sites across the Mallee in the coming months. "Signage, where required, will be installed notifying the public that usage statistics are being logged. Everyone can be re-assured that no personally identifiable data will be captured.