Ipswich on track with winning entry

With the Year 2000 National Awards for Innovation in Local Government looming, it is an ideal time to find out what progress had been made by Ipswich City Council, the 1999 National Award winner.

Its entry, a software system designed to easily track development applications at the desktop, provided Ipswich City Council with an organisation-wide solution complying with State planning legislation.

Mr Mark Denman, Research Officer in the Council's Development Branch, said: "The system has received considerable interest from other Queensland local authorities due to its wide applicability to a range of Council sizes and easy adaptability to existing software.

"Since winning the Award, the Ipswich City Council has received a large number of phone calls and inquiries from most States. The Council has also given demonstrations of the software to local authorities in the South East Queensland region."

Ipswich City Council had also discussed the package's concepts and ideas with all interested persons and has forwarded copies of their award submission to each inquirer.

The objectives of the project were to electronically record and track the critical processing stages of a development application as a detailed record, as required by the Queensland Integrated Planning Act.

Development applications have spatial representation. Images are captured to electronically display application details for public scrutiny. The system allows automatic compilation of reports from the database and determines processing times to generate performance-based management statistics.

The tracking system also assists in the Council's forward planning decision-making processes. For example, the growth areas of the city can be viewed spatially by querying the database for specific criteria, such as all sub-divisions generating more than 10 lots, or specific inquiries relating to commercial, industrial or multi-residential developments.

Also, the system can map all applications within a given area. This data can then be mapped in respect to other geographic features.

Introduction of this system at Ipswich City Council has improved customer service by way of better delivery of information to the public. Information which is required to be on public display is available on demand in an electronic format.

For further information Mr Denman can be reached at (07) 3810 6257