Joan van Lieshout
Joan van Lieshout

Council goes all hi-tech

TWEED Shire Council has gone hi-tech, with the launch of an electronic planning system that makes it easier for developers to lodge and track applications over the internet.

The launch took place online via a “podcast” by Mayor Joan van Lieshout.

In the podcast - a short video featured on the council's website - Cr van Lieshout declared she was excited to use “this window of cyberspace” to introduce website viewers to the new hi-tech services.

“Staff have been busily working towards and promoting the introduction of e-planning practices, with the primary goal of providing Tweed Shire residents and businesses with more efficient and customer-focused development assessment processes,” she said. “E-planning is all about utilising web-based systems and electronic functions to replace many of the manual, paper-based actions we currently use.”

However, she warned that the full implementation of e-planning would involve a major learning curve and cultural change for Council staff, local businesses and citizens, and would take several years to complete.

Some hi-tech services began in June, with the launch of an online development application kit and a requirement from July that all development applications be submitted in hard copy and electronic format.

This week's launch involved the introduction of extensive e-planning web services, including property inquiry, application tracking and improved mapping functions, Cr van Lieshout said.

Along with the mayor's address, the launch also featured podcasts posted on the Council website by planning and regulation director Vince Connell and information, technology and corporate services chief Russ Merry.

The launch was an important milestone in efforts to become a state-wide leader in efficient development assessment practices, Mr Connell said.



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