Brisbane’s pix-o-gram trial provides great results

Article image - Brisbane’s pix-o-gram trial provides great results

Brisbane City Council residents are using mobile phones to photograph damaged Council property and text them to Council to be fixed. The pilot pix-o-gram program began mid March and will finish on 30 June 2007.

Brisbane Lord Mayor, Campbell Newman, said the program, which is thought to be an Australian first, has been a great success. He said in the first month of the program, over 30 residents had already sent in photos of things such as broken signs, damaged rubbish bins, broken locks in park toilets and drinking fountains that do not work.

“Pix-o-grams provide another channel for the community to communicate with Council and let us know about local problems that need attention around the city,” the Lord Mayor said. “If Council doesn’t know something is broken, we can’t fix it.”

Residents text Council a photo, along with a description of the problem, the place and suburb, and their name and age. For example, ‘leaking taps, Mowbray Park toilets, east Brisbane – Julia Citizen 16’. Once received by Council, it is instantly stored in an electronic system and logged for immediate investigation.

Small problems are fixed on the spot, while more complicated problems are logged with the relevant Council department after an initial inspection.

Lord Mayor Newman said the pilot program reflects the fact that many people in today’s modern society now rely on their mobile
phones as a primary source of communication.

“Many of the texts are coming from Brisbane’s youth, who are leading the way as active citizens who care about their city and neighbourhoods,” he said. “About 72 per cent of the pix-o-grams have been received from residents under
30 years old, one from a 15 year old.”

Council is continuing to target youth through its marketing campaign, which involves the distribution of cardboard cutouts of mobile phones, providing instructions on how to lodge a photo. Council is also using local media to promote the initiative.