Tuesday, 24 March 2015 18:00

NICTA launches Digital Service Kiosks pilot Featured

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NICTA has launched a pilot of its Digital Service Kiosks at the Kiama Municipal Council in New South Wales as part of its strategy to increase access to crucial government services.

NICTA (the Information and Communications Technology Research Centre of Excellence) says the pilot seeks to remove the barriers to accessing government services by providing an easy to use Digital Service Counter, connected to the National Broadband Network at the council’s library.

Dr Terry Percival AM, Director of NICTA’s Broadband and Digital Economy Business Team, said residents will be able to access services digitally, with real time support via a video connected customer service representative.

According to Dr Percival, access to local government services can be problematic for Kiama Council’s residents who have issues related to mobility, poor health, stay-at-home parents, the elderly and those in geographically remote areas without access to a reliable Internet service.

In the Kiama Municipal Council local government area, situated in the Illawarra region of NSW, 35.6% of residents are over 55, and 77.7% of residents are connected to the Internet.

“The pilot of the Digital Service Kiosks with Kiama Council represents the future of government service delivery,” Dr Percival said.

“The bandwidth provided by the NBN combined with the Digital Service Kiosk will improve access to government services for senior citizens, isolated members of the community and those without access to technology.”

“This is a fantastic project which builds on our community’s early acceptance of the NBN roll out and adds another layer to the services we provide”, said Kiama Municipal Council Mayor Brian Petschler.

“We are delighted that NICTA is piloting this project in Kiama and we look forward to making this a success model other councils can use. It represents the future of local government services and information delivery.”

Petchler said the council has a dedicated resource to support the Kiosk and library staff will be trained to help trouble shoot issues for users.

The pilot will run until 16 April.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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