The major news coming out of Federal politics this week was the Turnbull Government's announcement of a National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA), which aims to establish Australia as a leading innovative and agile economy.
The NISA acknowledges the transformative effect that technology is having on our lives – from the way we work to the way we communicate and access services – and contends that innovation will be critical for the transition into the next wave of Australia's economic prosperity.
A key focus of the NISA is for government to actively lead the cultural and technological change required to ensure innovation is central to the way government operates and to use technology to deliver better quality services, and Local Government is no exception, although I believe we are already well on our way in this regard.
The Local Government Association of Queensland this year released its second Digital Productivity Report, which showed local councils across Queensland playing their part in embracing innovative technology as part of their business strategies to reduce costs, improve efficiency and deliver better services to their communities.
The Local Government Association of South Australia (LGASA) found an innovative solution in response to council residents' confusion around the timing of local services such as recycling and hard rubbish collection days. They developed the My Local Services app which provides local communities with access to a wealth of council information, including answers to frequently asked questions about council services, and allows residents to report local problems to their councils.
These examples only scratch the surface of how local government is working towards becoming more innovative in how we deliver services but they also serve to highlight our continued commitment to connect, collaborate and provide better services to our communities in innovative ways.
Mayor Troy Pickard