Smartphone app snitches on ditched cars

Jun 13, 2014 -- Gold Coasters can now help clear the thousands of cars dumped on the city’s streets every year with a groundbreaking Smartphone app that reports problems with just a snap of a photo.

In the 2013-14 financial year to date, 2,622 abandoned vehicles have been reported on the Gold Coast – mainly in hotspots such as Palm Beach, Burleigh Heads, Surfers Paradise, Southport and Labrador – with associated investigation, impoundment and storage costing ratepayers upwards of $300,000.

Now a City of Gold Coast app developed by leading mapping data specialists MapData Services (MDS) is enabling locals and visitors to report incidents of deserted vehicles from anywhere, at any time of the day.

Mayor Tom Tate said the app could save the city thousands of dollars in administrative costs while also quickly ridding the streets of automotive eyesores.

“Cars dumped on Gold Coast streets, highways and reserves are not only unsightly, but often dangerous and very costly to remove,” Cr Tate said.

“For the safety and reputation of our city, it’s important they are taken away quickly and efficiently.

“This app will ensure cars are removed sooner and save ratepayers’ money for more constructive spending on roads and community infrastructure.”

Initially launched in July 2013, the app has been successful in dramatically reducing graffiti vandalism on the Gold Coast.

With the latest release, reporting capabilities have also been extended to include shopping trolleys, water leaks, potholes, illegal dumping, street sweeping, park bins, footpaths, street signs and parking.

MDS General Manager Cassandra Barker said the simplicity of the user-friendly technology was a key feature to its success.

“It’s really as simple as taking a photo and pressing submit,” Ms Barker said.

“The photo is tagged with its GPS location and sent instantly to Council for logging so officers can arrange a response without delay.

“The app can also be used to check on the progress of a report and provide feedback if further information is required.

“This technology is transforming traditional customer service models, by providing immediate two-way reporting capabilities, so residents can bypass call centres entirely.”

Cr Tate said the next addition to the app was anticipated to be pest management (wild dogs, vermin, mosquitoes) which could be included later this year. 



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