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New step on digital journey

Thursday 10 June 2021
Albury is venturing further into the digital future with a major trial of new technology soon to take place in the city centre.

From 17 June, we’ll be trialling a new way of monitoring and enforcing parking regulations, thanks to the implementation of sensors at 172 parking bays in the CBD.

The sensors, which have been placed beneath the ground in parking spots in Dean, Kiewa and Olive Streets, will provide a high-tech solution to the challenge of making sure that everyone has fair and equitable access to parking spots.

The technology will enable our rangers to monitor when vehicles arrive and depart from each bay, with those who overstay the time limit subject to infringement notices, if necessary.

That means rangers will no longer have to physically patrol those parking sites to make sure drivers are doing the right thing. By being able to monitor those parking bays remotely, the rangers will have more time to provide other services to the community, such as reuniting lost pets with their owners.

While the system will provide a more efficient way of managing parking, it is not about revenue raising. In fact, little will change from the driver’s point of view; parking will remain free of charge and subject to time limits, with the responsibility on motorists to ensure they don’t overstay the limit. We do urge drivers to monitor their stays to ensure they won’t be fined.

In turn, that will mean more people can park where they want, when they want, because potential over-stayers will have a greater incentive to do the right thing and move on when their time is up.

Other key advantages will flow from the data that the system will provide. The parking information will be captured by a solar powered network system that will also relay climatic data.  We’ll be able to use this information to plan for the future, ensuring we are well informed about our climatic impacts when planning future infrastructure and service improvements.

We’ll also gather feedback from community members, with formal opportunities to be provided for people to have a say on the system so we can refine it further based on the views of shoppers and other visitors to our city centre.

This foray into smart parking is just one step we’re taking along the path to a smarter future.

For example, some of our public rubbish bins have been fitted with sensors that let us know when they need to be emptied and their waste emissions, creating a more efficient, sustainable and cost-effective way of managing our collection processes.

Over the longer-term, we’re continuing to work closely with our Two Cities One Community partners in Wodonga to develop a suite of smart improvements to ensure both cities move ahead together to develop digital infrastructure.

We’re working towards expanding our public wi-fi network to create a more connected community while in an Australian-first for two cities, we’ve committed to developing a joint open data platform and policy.

By working with a research partner, we’re aiming to gain a better understanding of how people interact with infrastructure across the community. The data we gain from this process can be used for a variety of improvements including, for example, growing our visitor economy.

Another exciting development is the installation of climate sensors at key locations across Albury and Wodonga. These sensors will help us to gather critical data such as CO2 levels, temperature, humidity and air quality so that we can plan and prepare for the impact of a changing climate in the years ahead.

These are just some ways in which we’re working together to make Albury Wodonga an even smarter place to live, work and invest.

Thanks to everyone who has helped us to guide us on this journey and we look forward to taking the next steps that will propel us into an exciting future.