Posts Tagged “smart”


Newcastle City Council has welcomed a $5 million Australian Government grant to deploy digital technology to make it easier to move around the city and run it more efficiently.

The Smart Move Newcastle project, part of Council’s Smart City vision, will integrate digital technology in vehicles and infrastructure to deliver a more convenient multi-modal transport system and yield productivity and energy efficiency gains.

In addition to the $5 million contribution, Newcastle City Council together with partners will contribute $10 million. Key city partners include Keolis Downer, the University of Newcastle, Eighteen04, CSIRO and RDA Hunter.

The federal funding will support a range of initiatives including:
• A pilot electric vehicle hub on the city fringe with chargers for electric cars and e-bikes for hire
• On-demand bus transport offering a more personalised service
• Autonomous vehicle trials
• Bus stops with technology to provide users with real-time information, such as when the next bus is due and how many seats are available
• Roads and intersections with real-time traffic analysis to give emergency vehicles green lights and commuters a heads up on traffic jams
• Inroad sensors to provide data on parking availability via apps
• Sensors in buildings to monitor and manage energy use and provide business insights
• Cameras in smart light poles to analyse cloud coverage and estimate solar energy production

The announcement follows the NSW Government’s $10 million commitment to the $17.8 million Hunter Innovation Project (HIP) in September last year.

The HIP is now delivering smart city infrastructure throughout Newcastle’s CBD and will establish an innovation hub for researchers, industry and entrepreneurs to commercialise ideas and promote economic development.



IF the dreary staircases in train stations and public places in Newcastle and the Hunter were brightly painted and even made music when you trod on them, would people use them more?

Year Six Lambton Public School pupil Annabelle Mahoney thinks so, and she also reckons if her idea was put into practice, the region’s troubling obesity rate would be lowered.

Judges in the Hunter Innovation Festival like her way of thinking and have named the diminutive 11-year-old the winner of the Smart Ideas competition.

Annabelle has won $1000 to prototype her idea plus business advisory sessions at The Business Centre and attendance at business development workshops.

“Annabelle had a simple idea that is relatively easy to implement and has so many benefits … And to top it off, she gave a remarkable and confident pitch; all the judges were impressed with her style,” said festival organiser Christina Gerakiteys.

For her part, Annabelle admits she was more than a little nervous when she stepped into the limelight at Watt Street Commercial to pitch her idea to festival judges.

“I didn’t think I’d win because there were adults and the guy before me had a really good idea,” she says in reference to finalist Christopher Glover, who pitched his idea to transform the former BHP site into an enormous carpark with linking ferries to Queens Wharf.

The two other finalists were Annabelle’s classmate, Alex Gallagher, whose idea was to install a solar panel roof at Lambton Pool to allow it to open year-round, and Isabelle Jones, who mooted a social media management platform.

Annabelle admits she got her idea at the eleventh hour after she saw a photo of a child eating a burger a Newcastle Herald report /story/4518448/obese-toddlers-and-a-system-under-pressure/ on obesity in babies and children in the Hunter.

“I did research and it says each step you take burns .025 calories so then I just needed a way to make people choose stairs,” she said.

Annabelle thinks that decorating stairs – either by simply painting them, putting motivational signs on them, funky lighting and even attaching electronics to allow them to make musical sounds – would make people opt for the stairs.

“If there are piano stairs it’s exciting to step up and see what sounds it makes,” she said.

Alex, who trains in a swim squad at  Lambton Pool, said his idea to heat the pool year-round was inspired by his cousin, a talented diver.

“She trains at New Lambton but in winter she has to go to Sydney because she can’t train anywhere in Newcastle,” he said.


100m training boost

THE state’s jobless will be given a $100 million “mentoring and training” boost to get them into the workplace.

The “Smart, Skilled and Hired” program will target the highest youth unemployment areas, notably Western Sydney, and regional centres.

With jobless rates hitting 20 per cent in some parts, the Baird government is hoping some will work in the construction and disability sectors, with workers required for the NDIS.

“When there are cranes in the sky all over the state and jobs growth is leading the country, we still have a concerning number of youth unemployment hotspots, “Skills Minister John Barilaro said.

He named Western Sydney, the Central Coast, New England, the northwest and the north coast as priorities.

Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian is set to announce tomorrow that net government debt is close to zero after the $10 billion sale of Transgrid.

NSW net debt at June 30 will be $663 million or 0.1 per cent of gross state product, Ms Berejiklian will announce.

She will also announce an average of $12.1 billion a year over four years in state government infrastructure spending on schools, hospitals, roads and rail, a figure the government will boast is the highest capital expenditure of the states and twice as much as Labor spent in its last four years in power.

The paying down of debt will allow the government to borrow more as it looks to finish the Sydney Metro, WestConnex motorway and other infrastructure projects.

“The government has managed to all but wipe out debt at the same time as spending record amounts on infrastructure and services,” Ms Berejiklian said. “NSW is the nation’s No.1 economy, our triple-A (credit rating) is secured and we have an unprecedented infrastructure pipeline to transform the state.”

The Smart, Skilled and Hired program will assist early school leavers, young people between school and work, and young offenders.

“Smart, Skilled and Hired” will work with local community groups, non-government organisations and not-for-profits that provide young people with the practical support and mentoring they need to get through a course and into a job,’’ Mr Barilaro said.

“Smart, Skilled and Hired will tackle the practical, everyday things that can stop young people from either getting and keeping a job, or sticking at training.”