Expanded WiFi network and humidity-detecting smart sensors fit Darwin budget bill
Under the plan, sensors that measure noise, humidity and light would be installed in Darwin. (Supplied: HC Blechynden)
As anyone who has suffered through a dreaded Territory build-up can attest to, the humidity will have you going troppo.
- Rate rise flagged for Darwin and Palmerston councils
- New smart sensors, expanded WiFi network to cost $10 million
- Increase in parking fees not ruled out in draft plan
And soon enough, you might be able to get a sense of how much you’re about to sweat.
Smart sensors that measure humidity and an expanded Wi-Fi network will form part of a new digital and open data initiative the Darwin City Council hopes will modernise the Top End.
But it’ll come at a cost, with ratepayers expected to cop a 3 per cent rate rise — equating to $1.23 a week or $64 a year — over the next 12 months.
The proposal is part of the council’s $142 million draft 2018/19 annual budget, which includes $10 million to “switch on” Darwin.
“We’re going to use technology to improve people’s lives,” Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis said.
“We’ll have smart lighting, smart sensors that will tell you where parking is free.”
According to Mr Vatskalis, a suite of new sensors including noise, movement, emissions, humidity, light, traffic and people-counting, will be rolled out by May 2019.
They’ll go alongside new community apps, “cutting-edge lighting controls” and HD CCTV with video analytics.
It’s hoped the plan will improve community safety, bolster liveability outcomes and help reduce emissions.
But it’s not all good news.
Parking increase, rate rise on the books
In addition to the rate rise, Mr Vatskalis couldn’t rule out an increase in parking costs.
“I want decisions based on fact and figures and that’s what they’ll be,” he said.
“You can park free on Saturday and Sunday for the next few months.”
The draft plan will be put out to public consultation until June 8.
Outside of the CBD, Palmerston residents will also take a hit to the hip pocket, with rates to increase by 2.9 per cent in the coming year.
Palmerston City Council Mayor Athina Pascoe-Bell said the rise would help rebuild the council’s depleted savings.
“We need to make sure that we look to increase some service levels as well as restore our reserves, which have been significantly depleted over the last few years,” she said.
“There was a number of projects undertaken by the previous council which really drew into reserves.”