Richmond Valley Council has seized the opportunity to embrace technology to create efficiencies, drive innovation, and transform the way we engage with our residents, businesses, and employees.
As high-speed network access continues to improve in our towns and villages, there will be increased opportunities to bring different ways of serving the community to more areas. For example, more and more of our ratepayers’ payments have been made using Council’s e-payment system. The facility allows customers to make payments by debit or credit card, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Over the past 12 months there have been 29,246 direct debits, 16,899 payments made via Australia Post, and 37,053 via BPay. We are delighted many people are now using these easier payment methods, which are also more cost effective for us to administer.
Enhancing our technological capabilities has been a top priority for Council. The enhancements detailed on this page certainly allow us to realise operational efficiencies, but they ultimately help us better serve our community.
‘Embracing technology to create efficiencies, drive innovation’
Council’s ongoing efforts to introduce new technology will see the organisation save thousands of dollars annually, and reduce its environmental footprint. A few key initiatives are listed below:
- Council’s Assets team has been trialling a software program which has the ability to load data and spatial information from our asset, property and GIS systems into devices allowing it to be viewed, validated or saved on site by individual users;
- Our Records team has started digitising all Council records to improve organisational efficiency. This is a mammoth task as we have a legislated requirement to keep thousands of files;
- Field staff can now send water meter readings straight through to the Rates department via a mobile app, eliminating cumbersome paperwork;
- The Richmond Upper Clarence Library provides a number of online services, such as eBooks and eMagazines, as well as an Interactive Online Computer and Technology Training Centre;
- Council has now joined the TenderLink network. Our Procurement officers will use this portal to advertise tenders, quotations, expressions of interest, and other purchasing requirements, ensuring Council is able to purchases goods and services in the most cost effective way possible;
- We have also implemented a development application online tracking system. Known as DA Tracker, the system allows customers easier access to and tracking of lodged development applications, as well as assisting in the gathering of information through electronic media. Once a development application is lodged with Council, registered applicants can monitor the progress of their application through to determination.
Free public Wi-Fi now available
IT is now easier for residents, businesses and tourists to check emails, do business, search the web and stay up to date with social media contacts while out and about in the Richmond Valley. Council has switched on its free public Wi-Fi service in the Evans Head, Woodburn and Casino CBDs. Anyone with a Wi-Fi compatible device, like smart phones, laptops and tablets, could access free internet in the three CBD areas, presenting a massive opportunity for local businesses.
2500 properties now able to connect to nbn
There is now a significant nbn footprint available across our local area, with more than 2500 properties now able to connect to the service, and more will be able to from June. Click here to find out if the nbn is available at your address, or visit nbnco.com.au The nbn has established eight fixed wireless sites across the Council area, covering about 2760 properties, including those in: Bagotville; Coraki; Casino; Fairy Hill; Leeville; North Casino; Spring Grove; and Tatham. Construction of the fixed-line network within the Casino township, as well as Evans Head, is on track to start in the second half of 2017.
Areas outside a fixed wireless service can access fast broadband via satellite technology, which is designed to transmit internet services to satellite dishes on residential and business premises in rural and remote areas. You can register your contact email with nbn and be notified when services become available. Ordering a service is simply a case of contacting your chosen provider. There are more than 100 service providers selling nbn services in our area. Or you can contact your preferred phone company or internet service provider.