Alpine Shire introduces video conferencing facilities

Article image - Alpine Shire introduces video conferencing facilities Alpine Shire’s IT staff test out the new facility.

Alpine Shire Council is one of a group of councils in Victoria to install a video conferencing facility.

With a population 13,000 people, the Alpine Shire is a vibrant community located about 300 kilometres north east of Melbourne, and
70 kilometres south of Albury/Wodonga.

Covering 4,800 square kilometres, it is a regional community, with three major townships – Bright, Mount Beauty and Myrtleford.

The video conferencing facility will enable Council to participate in a variety of conferences without leaving the Council chambers.

The facility comprises a mobile television and web camera, that can easily be moved between Council’s conference room and Chambers.
CEO Ian Nicholls said the facility has many benefits.
“This facility will enable us to attend conferences and meetings from our offices here in Bright,” he said.
“This means we will not have to leave the Shire to attend conferences, which provides more opportunity to work with the community.

“It will reduce the amount of kilometres travelled in a car, which is an environmental benefit.

“It will also allow us to participate in more conferences that we may not have attended in the past because it was not economically sensible to travel long distances to attend.

“In addition, it will enable us to learn from and share ideas with other councils from not only Victoria, but all over Australia.

“This will only improve our service to the community.”

The facility operates over the South West Alliance of Rural Health (SWARH) managed network.

Other Victorian councils with video conferencing facilities include Moyne, Mildura, East Gippsland, Pyrenees and Swan Hill. It is anticipated that at least another ten councils will follow these councils’ lead by installing similar facilities over the next year.

Alpine Shire will soon extend its video conferencing capabilities to include some desktop computers, and mobile laptop trials will begin soon after.