Local government leaders explore latest in innovation

Local Government Association of Queensland representatives and business executives dedicated to helping councils lift their productivity will soon embark on an international tour to meet the world’s best proponents of digital innovation in the public and private sector.

The trip, led by LGAQ President and Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson, will look at gaining exposure to leading edge technologies and business models that will help inform and shape some of the emerging opportunities for councils in delivering value for money to their communities.

Mayor Jamieson said the study tour would provide insights into how councils could use developments in renewable energy, smart street lighting, blockchain technology and other areas to strengthen the state’s regional economies, improve urban environments and deliver more cost-effective services.

“Queensland already has some of the most innovative councils in Australia. Our mission is all about ensuring local governments in Queensland remain leaders in their field,’’ Mayor Jamieson said.

“The LGAQ and its subsidiary businesses believe digital innovation is at the heart of connectivity for councils in terms of how they assist their communities and businesses get the most out of the rapid and far reaching changes in the world economy.”

“I made it clear when I was elected as President of the LGAQ that the future for Queensland councils centres on connectivity. This study tour will provide the opportunity to look at new and innovative models for how councils connect locally and globally through a range of technologies and solutions”.

The study tour – funded by the LGAQ – will include a visit to the one of the world’s most advanced generators of geothermal energy at Fallon in the Nevada Desert, a plant using similar technology to the Winton geothermal facility in outback Queensland, which is due to begin operations later this year.

Mayor Jamieson said the LGAQ would also seek to establish relationships with digitally innovative businesses that could help develop new areas of efficiency for councils and their communities.

“That might include helping councils boost their capability in data analytics or encouraging the growth of digital based start-ups in a variety of areas,’’ he said.

The group will also meet local government counterparts and senior executives from companies in Europe and the United States such as Citelum, Accenture, Amazon, Watson IBM and Microsoft to discuss developments in the ‘Internet of Things’, data analytics and digital economic development initiatives.

Mayor Jamieson said the LGAQ had already invested more than $1 million over the past two years in research and pilot projects across the state involving council officers using vehicle tracking and drone technology to do their jobs better. The two week tour begins on 6 January.

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