Smart access to council information

Tweed Shire Council in northern New South Wales has become one of the first Australian councils to provide a new way for residents with a smart mobile phone to access Council information.

Designed specifically for mobile phone technology, the free myAnswers ‘app’ (application) provides Tweed’s residents and ratepayers with the freedom of being out and about, while still having access to Council information.

Residents with an iPhone, HTC, Blackberry or any other web enabled phone or iPad can use the ‘myAnswers’ mobile technology to retrieve a host of up to date information in an easy to read format, including general opening hours and contact numbers for Council facilities.

In addition, the app delivers a range of Council website information, such as development application tracking, property searches, upcoming events including Council meetings and Community Access dates, and Council tender information. It also provides access to the Richmond-Tweed Library catalogue and Council’s community directory, as well as alerts for sportsground, road closures and more.

All information is presented in real time, which means users see the same information that is presented on the websites at any time.

Residents with traditional mobile phones can also access information such as road closure, sports field and local surf information using the myAnswers bounce back facility, which operates via texting.

Tweed’s Director Technology and Corporate Services Troy Green said Council is erecting signs at sports fields, beaches and so forth to let people know about the service.

“This solution heralds a new era of accessing Council information and services and provides greater transparency for a range of information,” he said.

“Since initiation, the feedback has continued to be positive due to Council’s marketing efforts, which ensure residents are aware of this service. We are also receiving calls from other councils who are interested in implementing a similar service.”

Tweed Shire Council has been invited to present the solution at this year’s National Local Government Information Technology conference in Coffs Harbour in November.

The providers of myAnswers – Blink Mobile – recently won three Australian Business Awards for 2010 in the categories of Best E-Business Product, Product Innovation and Best New Product.

To view the Tweed Shire Council mobile application answer space from a web enabled smart phone, type into the browser.

For further information contact Troy Green on (02) 6670 2414 or email