Golden Plains Shire Council, in partnership with Moorabool Shire Council and Hepburn Shire Council, has secured funding from the Victorian Government to deliver the Smart Shires Network project.
Council has partnered with the neighbouring councils of Moorabool Shire and Hepburn Shire to form a consortium to develop a Long-Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) across the three municipalities. The consortium has secured $750,000 from round two of the Victorian Government’s Rural Councils Transformation Grants program to deliver the network, with $250,000 to be allocated to each Council.
The Smart Shires Network will see 30 LoRaWAN gateways installed across the municipalities creating a network that spans 6,287km2 and links to coverage in the nearby regional cities of Geelong and Ballarat. With the installation of LoRaWAN gateways, the project will establish an effective and open Internet of Things (IoT) network, allowing the consortium members to utilise IoT sensor technology to manage existing assets more effectively with near real-time monitoring and reporting.
The consortium has identified opportunities in utilising IoT sensors to build capacity and insight into council operations, enabling efficiencies to be made. Identified initial opportunities for the use of Iot sensors include the monitoring of public toilet and rubbish bin usage trends to ensure facility cleaning and waste collection are more effectively matched to usage, monitoring patronage at local events, public spaces and recreation trails, and understanding the soil water moisture profile of grassed areas to better control water usage at Council-managed facilities.
The gateways and IoT network will also be freely available for the community and local businesses to acquire and deploy their own sensors and gather data relevant to their needs.
Golden Plains Shire Mayor Cr Gavin Gamble welcomed the Victorian Government’s investment in the Smart Shires Network partnership project.
“It’s fantastic to be working alongside our neighbouring councils of Moorabool Shire and Hepburn Shire, with support from the Victorian Government, to deliver a Long-Range Wide Area Network. It is expected this network will deliver savings and efficiencies within our organisations, creating better outcomes for our communities.
“With the establishment of this network and the installation of IoT sensors across the Shire, Council and other local businesses, farm enterprises and tourism operators will be able to obtain sensor data and insights, supporting data-driven decision making and growth.”