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‘Smart city’ push for Dardanup

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Resident in the Shire of Dardanup could soon be living in a “smart city” and be the first in the State to use a revolutionary internet control system which would allow them to monitor their belongings away from home. Internet of Things technology will allow residents and businesses to monitor and track items through sensors that synchronise with a central gateway, then communicate information via a “cloud computing” internet database. Shire president Mick Bennett said the system would add to the shire’s move towards becoming a “high-tech city” and could significantly improve efficiency and security for residents and businesses.

Sensors placed on items around the home could send an alert to users through an internet device if a tap was left on, if a roller door was left open, or if movement is detected from a trailer, and would allow users to control security light features through a mobile phone application. Cr Bennett said floor-monitoring sensors could even be useful in detecting if an elderly person had taken a fall. Despite funding for the project being rejected in a Royalties for Regions application last year, Cr Bennett said he was intent on pursuing the idea, saying the possibilities of the system were “limitless”.

“It offers a multitude of benefits for our ratepayers and the opportunity for significant savings for council in things like asset management,” Cr Bennett said. Networks have been installed in regions in the Eastern States and similar systems are being utilised in large-scale mining industries like South 32, which Cr Bennett said could help the council design its own model. Cr Bennett said if councillors in the Bunbury Wellington Group endorsed the plan and worked on the project jointly, the technology could span to residents in Greater Bunbury. One gateway costs $60,000 and covers a radius of 15km, but if adopted by surrounding shires Cr Bennett said this could increase to $100,000, depending on how many extra gateways were added.

He said the initial cost would be offset by long-term benefits including enhanced security and the ability to track, measure, manage and operate a variety of different items remotely. “We can put sensors on buildings that can alert us to any issues that are happening so we don’t have to keep sending people out to things unnecessarily,” he said.

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