New app helps task Council workers with jobs
A new app released by The City of Newcastle allows users to pinpoint damage to public property and quickly assign Council officers to fix it.
Utilising GPS technology in smart phones and tablets, the digital tasking system is now available on the free “My Local Services” app and represents the biggest improvement in customer service in Council’s long history.
The new customer service app means your smart phone can also identify public toilets, swimming pools, parks, medical centres, libraries and sporting fields in need of maintenance or repair, and provide notifications to remind you when to put out your garbage bin.
"I’ve been counting the days for several months until we could share this smart phone technology with the community," Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.
"This app is going to change the way the community and Council communicate with each other, and will dramatically improve our customer service. I hope other councils and utilities follow our lead, recognising that through technology we can become a smart, liveable and sustainable city.
"One of the app’s interactive features is a 'report it' tool that allows you to quickly flag an issue for actioning. Whether from residents or people just visiting the city, the app sends GPS data from your phone to our operations software, which then allocates tasks to relevant staff to resolve in a timely manner.
"If you see a pothole in the road or a tree branch that's fallen in a park, just snap a pic, hit send on the app and the issue will be delivered straight to our roads or parks crews."
GPS coordinates are recorded by the smart phone or device when photographs are taken.
"The app is a simple, cost-effective way for Council to communicate with our customers and a highly efficient way for them to notify us of tasks that need to be done," Councillor Nelmes added.
"The days of having to call our contact centre or send an email are now effectively over. While we will continue to provide multiple ways for the community to contact council, your smart phone reduces the customer effort to click and send, and also allows Council to review the issue far more quickly."
The My Local Service app provides an extensive local events calendar, as well as contact information of councillors, notifications about council meetings, emergency alerts, road works/ closures and the location of nearby community centres, camping grounds, hospitals and medical centres, libraries, museums, sporting facilities, swimming pools, public toilets and walking trails.
The app's efficiencies are among a range of promising developments envisaged by the Newcastle Smart City Strategy adopted by Council in July last year.
The strategy outlines an ambitious Council-led collaboration to diversify the regional economy and encourage innovation while attracting investment and slowing the Hunter's decades-long brain drain.
Download the app free from the App Store or get it on Google play today.