Meet the local government finalists in the 2022 iTnews Benchmark Awards

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A cross-border sensor network, tree canopy digital twin and statewide website replacement project.

The scope of local government IT continued to grow in 2020 and 2021, with technology teams doing everything from modernising councils’ online presence, to establishing cross-border sensor networks and a digital twin of tree canopies.

Today we announce that three projects tackling these tasks are finalists in the 2022 iTnews Benchmark Awards in the Local Government category: the Local Government Association of Queensland’s work to transform Queensland councils’ digital experience, the Western Parklands Councils Sensor Network Project in western Sydney, and use of a digital twin measure tree canopy change by the City of Unley in South Australia.

The three projects are featured in the first of a series of mini-documentaries about the 2022 iTnews Benchmark Awards finalists.

Transforming Queensland Councils Digital Experience

The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) project is tackling one of local councils' most fundamental needs – modern websites - and it is doing it at scale.

With many councils struggling to afford modern websites, the LGAQ created a CMS it deemed suitable for delivering modern, accessible websites at an acceptable price point to Queensland councils, 60 percent of which now use the solution.

Economies of scale enabled LGAQ to offer councils reduced development, support and hosting rates, putting industry standard websites within reach of more local government agencies than ever.

Western Parklands Councils Sensor Network Project

Eight councils in western Sydney have been working together to establish the Western Parklands Councils Sensor Network Project.

The project aims to help the councils monitor and manage the impact of a predicted increase in the Western Sydney Parklands population from 1 million in 2020 to 1.7 million by 2036, while maximising returns from economic development initiatives and streamlining council operations.

A shared network of sensors, measuring water and air quality, heat, noise and people and vehicle movements, is connected to data analytics and an open data platform. 

Measuring Tree Canopy Change with a Digital Twin

Managing the effects of climate change and environmental sustainability are at the core of the third 2022 local government iTnews Benchmark Awards finalist project.

The South Australian City of Unley created a digital twin to measure changes in tree canopy coverage.

While trees can reduce heat, improve health and wellbeing, and contribute to cities’ climate change resilience, they aren’t always accounted for in asset management systems.

Using LIDAR data capture and other tools, a digital twin has been created to more accurately monitor changes to the canopy and help the council better understand factors increasing or decreasing the canopy.

The council has committed to increasing total canopy coverage by 20 percent by 2045.

The mini-documentary series continues

Thank you all entrants in this award category – the standard was extremely high, and separating them was not easy.

The rest of the mini-documentaries about the 2022 iTnews Benchmark Awards finalists’ projects will be published here throughout early April.

On June 15, the award winners will be announced at a ceremony and dinner hosted by KPMG in Barangaroo, Sydney.

Thank you to Okta for sponsoring the Best Local Government Project Award.

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