When Council was looking at ways to make the organisation financially sustainable so that we can continue to deliver community services at the levels you want into the future, one of the approaches we adopted was to look at re-focusing our existing business units to provide niche solutions for the local government sector.
One innovative example is our technology arm CitySmart Solutions. Council has, in fact, been developing and implementing technologies to manage security, cloud-based services and wastewater management for a number of years through our New Technology Group.
With a predominantly local government sector market for its products and services, the Group was recently rebranded as CitySmart Solutions to help it compete even more effectively in other local government areas, while generating long-term funds for Council and the Coffs Harbour community.
The new name also aims to highlight and emphasise CitySmart Solutions’ ability to offer regional areas the kind of technological solutions usually only available in cities. These include a number of specific products – Smart Cloud for hosting, storing and managing data safely in the cloud, Smart WIFI which provides fast broadband internet connection, Smart Switchboard, an award-winning technology for water and wastewater management, and Smart CCTV, an advanced security surveillance system.
For example, CitySmart Solutions has installed a full CCTV circuit in Inverell. In total, 54 CCTV cameras were set up around the town, mounted on poles designed by CitySmart Solutions to be vandal-resistant, as well as offering 360 degree views.
The system is powered from Inverell Shire Council’s server room making it easily accessible for maintenance work by their own IT staff. Monitors were also installed inside Inverell’s Police Station for police viewing and playback.
More recently, CitySmart Solutions developed a similar CCTV system with 52 cameras for the CBD of Albury. The live footage is monitored by Albury Police.
As well as bringing in extra income, where possible CitySmart Solutions also provides a direct flow-on to Coffs Harbour sub-contractors and suppliers, which helps benefit the overall local economy.