Brisbane City Council will spend more than $2 million to install “smart poles” at locations around the city to collect data on the city’s operations.
Brisbane City Council infrastructure committee chairwoman Amanda Cooper at City Hall with one of the new smart poles about to be trialled in Brisbane.
The 20 poles collect data on pedestrian and cyclist traffic, construction and traffic noise levels, flood levels and air quality, among other potential uses including hosting CCTV cameras.
The poles will also have free Wi-Fi and USB charging points in a bid to keep people in central city locations for longer.
Council infrastructure committee chairwoman Amanda Cooper told the council on Tuesday that the pilot project was very much an experiment to test how much data could be collected and used to inform council’s decisions.
The successful tenderer was Sydney-based company ENE HUB, which was awarded a contract to operate and maintain the poles for 10 years.
The company was asked to remove the CCTV, public address, visual display screen and parking monitoring options from its poles.
ENE HUB already has smart poles operating at a location in Moreton Bay under a contract with Moreton Bay Regional Council.
Cr Cooper said ENE HUB would have access to the poles to install small cells for 4G and 5G equipment across the city as part of the contract as a revenue-raising process.
“There is specific data that will be received by council and it has to be ensured that it is used for planning purposes and of course in accordance with all the relevant legislation,” she said.
“We’ve put in contractual arrangements in place to safeguard that data and make sure the vendor is aware of their responsibilities and are contractually obligated to detect, protect against and report on any malicious activity.”
Cr Cooper said the council was also conducting its own ICT risk assessment before the smart poles are installed at the planned locations across the city.
The smart poles have a lifespan of 40 years, with the council to take ownership of them after the first 10 year contract has concluded.
Greens councillor Jonathan Sri (The Gabba) asked about the poles’ ability to have CCTV operating and whether the poles would have CCTV installed.
Cr Cooper said they would not, as the council already had a strong CCTV network, but the option remained for the smart poles to have cameras installed at some locations such as skate parks.
“We would have to do a lot of notification in terms of warning to the community that there would be CCTV utilised in specific locations, so that has not yet been determined,” she said.
“It is a capability of these poles but it is not something the council at this point has opted to incorporate in these poles.”
Cr Cooper said there were 20 potential sites for the projects including Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens, Reddacliff Place, City Botanic Gardens, Captain Burke Park, Chinatown Mall, Paddington Skate Park, Telegraph Road Skate Park and along the Wynnum Foreshore.