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                    [post_date] => 2017-08-10 14:06:18
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-10 04:06:18
                    [post_content] => 

The Central Western Queensland Remote Area Planning and Development Board (RAPAD) in July produced the Smart Central Western Queensland: A Digitally Enabled Community Strategic Plan. As part of that plan, the councils proposed an  Outback Telegraph, which involves the mayors of seven Central West Queensland councils, the RAPAD members. Outback Telegraph proposes to switch on public Wi-Fi in these remote areas.

The plan is to roll-out free Wi-Fi by this group of councils - covering one-fifth of the state - to boost visitor numbers and business through technology.

The first stage of the Outback Telegraph has been switched on by Winton Shire Council, with the smart tourism pilot a first for Queensland. When the network gets up and running it will be – in total council area – the biggest single public Wi-Fi network in Australia.

The Queensland Government contributed $15,000 to jumpstart the pilot, and Winton Shire Council is also pitching in. RAPAD will fund the extension of the Outback Telegraph smart tourism platform to all key centres in the region, reaching some of the most remote communities in the state.

Queensland Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch said: “This is about driving opportunities and using the power of digital connectivity to tell the world about outback Queensland.

“Providing more opportunities to go online and do research on-the-go and share pictures and stories will be good for tourists and trade in small rural towns. I congratulate Winton Shire Council for taking the ground-breaking steps to provide free public Wi-Fi in the outback, and government officers in Rockhampton and Brisbane who worked with councils to make it happen.”

RAPAD board member and Mayor of Barcoo Shire Council, Bruce Scott said the next stage of the regional Wi-Fi network will add more locations, including Longreach, Barcaldine and Windorah.

“A single sign-on for the Central West means visitors won’t have to re-enter their details as they move around, making it much more convenient to stay connected during their travels,” he said.

“This is the first step towards making the Central West a smart region, where technology supports important local industries like tourism, and makes our communities better connected and more liveable.”

Winton Mayor Cr Butch Lenton acknowledged the pulling power of public Wi-Fi.

“It will be a magnet to people with mobile devices who are a long way from their family and friends and travelling around the countryside,” he said.

“Connectivity is essential to running businesses in rural Queensland, and for travellers, and I’m proud our council is pioneering a terrific project that is crossing new boundaries.”

Visitors will be able to connect to the network through the Outback Telegraph app, which will be available from Google and Apple in coming days. The mobile app can also interact with smart beacons placed around town, allowing the user to access additional information about local businesses, receive a coupon or special offer; and guide them on discovery walks.

Mayor Lenton said Winton Shire Council is collecting tourism statistics from the free Wi-Fi to show how visitors are moving through the region and where they are and are not stopping.

“We can build stronger businesses with this data. Winton has a rich history that includes the Great Shearers’ Strike, Banjo Patterson’s Waltzing Matilda, Qantas, and a dinosaur stampede, and also opal fields and a wide variety of animals and bird life in the area," he said.

“Free Wi-Fi can help us share our stories, history and visitor experiences on social channels to entice more tourists and encourage them to stay longer once they’re here,” he said.

The Outback Telegraph will be showcased at this week’s Bush Councils Convention in Charters Towers, with RAPAD also hoping to hold an upcoming ‘hacking’ event for the Central West to come up with ideas leveraging the regional Wi-Fi, app and beacons.
                    [post_title] => RAPAD to deliver WiFi to outback councils
                    [post_excerpt] => The Outback Telegraph proposes to switch on public Wi-Fi in many of Queensland's remote areas.
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                    [post_author] => 671
                    [post_date] => 2016-02-01 11:10:17
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-02-01 00:10:17
                    [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_22929" align="alignnone" width="243"]MailingSatchelBrigade.jpg Satchels can now be recycled. (Pic supplied)[/caption]

 

 

The meteoric rise of online commerce and its profound effect on Australia Post’s fortunes are usually couched in terms around the rapid decline of paper mail and corresponding revenue.

But internet shopping and its reliance on single-use waterproof plastic satchels to post millions of parcels have created a new dilemma – how does a thriving parcel business cope with the environmental challenge of keeping packaging out of landfill and on a sustainable footing?

The answer, for Australia Post at least, is self-servingly simple: you just put the rubbish back in the mail.

It might sound like a joke, but he national mail service this month revealed it has partnered with recycling outfit TerraCycle to allow consumers and businesses to ship spent plastic mail bags, free of charge, to be recycled into plastic park benches, chairs and other industrial items.

Recycled Applications.pngKnown as the ‘Australia Post Mailing Satchel Brigade’, the free scheme works by getting customers and businesses to register for an account and then “collecting over a kilogram of satchels in any used cardboard box.”

You then claim and stick a free shipping label to the box and lodge it at the local post office.

According to TerraCycle’s Australian spokesperson Ausseela Thanaphongsakorn, the satchel recycling program is one of a number of initiatives that aim to “tackle tricky items that normally land in the ‘too hard basket’.”

Australia Post’s Head of Environmental Sustainability, Andrew Sellick, reckons the free program divert tonnes plastic diverted from landfill and upcycled into a more sustainable form.

“The Australia Post Mailing Satchel Brigade is a one of a kind national recycling program – as yet, not all councils have the capacity to recycle these items through their respective roadside collection,” Mr Sellick said.

Putting a stamp on more complex recyclables also appears to be a growing niche for Australia Post.

“Australia Post already partners with TerraCycle on a number of schemes that sees items such as coffee pods and toothbrushes sent through the mailing network to TerraCycle for recycling,” Mr Sellick said.

Mailing Satchel arrow image.jpgWith so-called ‘product stewardship’ initiatives – or where manufacturers willingly reclaim spent goods and packaging from customers – quickly gaining rage among businesses who sell themselves environmental credentials, Post's struggling mail service could just be onto a modest winner by upcycling what was a once thriving junk mail business.

According to TerraCycle this is how the scheme works:

Customers can simply "collect, store and ship" mailing satchels by:
  1. Registering a free TerraCycle account (www.terracycle.com.au);
  1. Collecting over a kilogram of satchels in any used cardboard box, then claiming and affixing their free shipping label to the box, then;
  1. Dropping their box into any Post Office. For each satchel donated, the account receives two cents to donate to a school or charity of their choice.
  [post_title] => Put your rubbish in the mail? Australia Post to collect trashed plastic envelopes [post_excerpt] => Customers can upcycle spent satchels through the Post. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 22919 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-02-02 09:50:27 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-02-01 22:50:27 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=22919 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 2 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27795 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-08-10 14:06:18 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-10 04:06:18 [post_content] => The Central Western Queensland Remote Area Planning and Development Board (RAPAD) in July produced the Smart Central Western Queensland: A Digitally Enabled Community Strategic Plan. As part of that plan, the councils proposed an  Outback Telegraph, which involves the mayors of seven Central West Queensland councils, the RAPAD members. Outback Telegraph proposes to switch on public Wi-Fi in these remote areas. The plan is to roll-out free Wi-Fi by this group of councils - covering one-fifth of the state - to boost visitor numbers and business through technology. The first stage of the Outback Telegraph has been switched on by Winton Shire Council, with the smart tourism pilot a first for Queensland. When the network gets up and running it will be – in total council area – the biggest single public Wi-Fi network in Australia. The Queensland Government contributed $15,000 to jumpstart the pilot, and Winton Shire Council is also pitching in. RAPAD will fund the extension of the Outback Telegraph smart tourism platform to all key centres in the region, reaching some of the most remote communities in the state. Queensland Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch said: “This is about driving opportunities and using the power of digital connectivity to tell the world about outback Queensland. “Providing more opportunities to go online and do research on-the-go and share pictures and stories will be good for tourists and trade in small rural towns. I congratulate Winton Shire Council for taking the ground-breaking steps to provide free public Wi-Fi in the outback, and government officers in Rockhampton and Brisbane who worked with councils to make it happen.” RAPAD board member and Mayor of Barcoo Shire Council, Bruce Scott said the next stage of the regional Wi-Fi network will add more locations, including Longreach, Barcaldine and Windorah. “A single sign-on for the Central West means visitors won’t have to re-enter their details as they move around, making it much more convenient to stay connected during their travels,” he said. “This is the first step towards making the Central West a smart region, where technology supports important local industries like tourism, and makes our communities better connected and more liveable.” Winton Mayor Cr Butch Lenton acknowledged the pulling power of public Wi-Fi. “It will be a magnet to people with mobile devices who are a long way from their family and friends and travelling around the countryside,” he said. “Connectivity is essential to running businesses in rural Queensland, and for travellers, and I’m proud our council is pioneering a terrific project that is crossing new boundaries.” Visitors will be able to connect to the network through the Outback Telegraph app, which will be available from Google and Apple in coming days. The mobile app can also interact with smart beacons placed around town, allowing the user to access additional information about local businesses, receive a coupon or special offer; and guide them on discovery walks. Mayor Lenton said Winton Shire Council is collecting tourism statistics from the free Wi-Fi to show how visitors are moving through the region and where they are and are not stopping. “We can build stronger businesses with this data. Winton has a rich history that includes the Great Shearers’ Strike, Banjo Patterson’s Waltzing Matilda, Qantas, and a dinosaur stampede, and also opal fields and a wide variety of animals and bird life in the area," he said. “Free Wi-Fi can help us share our stories, history and visitor experiences on social channels to entice more tourists and encourage them to stay longer once they’re here,” he said. The Outback Telegraph will be showcased at this week’s Bush Councils Convention in Charters Towers, with RAPAD also hoping to hold an upcoming ‘hacking’ event for the Central West to come up with ideas leveraging the regional Wi-Fi, app and beacons. [post_title] => RAPAD to deliver WiFi to outback councils [post_excerpt] => The Outback Telegraph proposes to switch on public Wi-Fi in many of Queensland's remote areas. 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online-commerce