Smart poles rolled out across Newcastle

Tuesday, 13 June, 2017

Smart poles rolled out across Newcastle

The rollout of Australia’s biggest smart pole installation has begun as Newcastle City Council unveils an ambitious smart city plan.

Up to 50 smart city tech poles will be erected around Newcastle’s inner city over the next few months before 300 more are installed over the next few years. As well as offering Wi-Fi connectivity, the smart poles boast energy-saving LED lighting that can be dimmed by remote control, audio speakers for public announcements and cameras for real-time traffic analysis.

“At the end of the rollout in around two years, this installation will be the biggest and most functional smart lighting installation in Australia,” said Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes.

“We’re excited about the smart poles because they’re the first real tech hardware installed as part of the smart city strategy we have just released for public comment.”

The smart city strategy outlines a council-led collaboration to diversify the regional economy and encourage innovation to meet urban challenges. It also reveals how Newcastle will attract investment and tech industries to a new digital precinct with high-speed internet connections in the city’s CBD.

“The strategy spells out how we’re maximising opportunities in the fields of technology, advanced manufacturing and the emerging digital economy to drive economic growth,” Councillor Nelmes said.

“From building the tech hub in a new digital precinct and promoting science-based disciplines to effecting major energy efficiencies in transport and other services — we’re reinventing the city.

“Apps for ratepayers to transact with council, digital wayfinding for tourists and sensors to show garbage truck drivers the bins that need emptying, businesses when to open and motorists where to park are key components of this overarching vision.”

Newcastle City Council Interim CEO Jeremy Bath said the new smart poles would offer the city flexibility as its broader plan unfolded.

“Our poles are a modular system that can be easily adapted to different requirements and incorporate the latest communication and energy-saving lighting technologies,” he said.

“All the lighting can be controlled on a desktop on Google Maps and you can dim them in the middle of the night to save energy. We’ll be able to add environmental sensors, smart parking systems and electrical-vehicle charging stations later on.”

To view Newcastle’s draft smart city strategy, visit

Image caption: A smart pole in Newcastle Mall.

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