UPGRADE: A $800,000 computer program is hoped to deliver better service from Gympie Regional Council to rural roads.
UPGRADE: A $800,000 computer program is hoped to deliver better service from Gympie Regional Council to rural roads. Renee Pilcher

Rural roads could be helped by $800,000 system upgrade

GYMPIE Regional Council is exploring a potential $800,000 maintenance management improvement which will deliver more efficient road services.

According to the report before council in yesterday's workshop, investigations were under way into the development of a software system to improve work flow and deliver real-time updates to maintenance crews.

Once developed, the system will be rolled out over three years and will include outfitting trucks and customising existing software. The council heard a return on the investment was expected within three to five years, and a 5% operational saving was also possible.

While it was hoped delivery could begin this year, it was acknowledged a delay was likely as the process was more complex than expected.

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Mayor Mick Curran said the council should be finding better ways to deliver services and saw the proposed improvements as a "true asset”, with about $6 million spent annually on maintaining the region's roads, footpaths and drains.

Councillor Bob Leitch agreed, saying council should find ways to pre-empt maintenance issues.

"I know potentially it's a huge outlay but we need to move forward,” he said.

Cr Glen Hartwig said it was important the council ensured a return on the investment, but was optimistic of its benefits.

"I think it's fair to say our rural roads have lacked importance,” he said.

"Hopefully this is a step in the right direction to improve the liveability of those people that live outside Gympie city.”

Cr Hilary Smerdon shared Cr Hartwig's optimism for how it could help rural services.

"If it ends up in better services to the ratepayers I'm all for it,” he said.

Gympie Times


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