In May representatives from Cairns Regional Council, James Cook University, Wet Tropics Waterways, Itron Australasia and the Australian Government gathered at Council Chambers for the first Smart Catchments project progress meeting.
Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch said the pilot project would ultimately improve the quality of water entering the Saltwater Creek catchment of the reef. Deputy Mayor of the Cairns Regional Council Terry James said the city was proud to lead the way in adopting new technologies for environmental benefit, especially since 2018 is the International Year of the Reef.
“To be a smart city is to be continually ready to accept new technologies as they emerge and apply them to the challenges we are facing. For Cairns, protection of our environment is our top priority and it makes sense that our city should be setting the benchmark in environmental management,’ Cr James said.
JCU’s Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Chris Cocklin, said researchers from the University’s Internet of Things (IoT) program would bring both local knowledge and cutting-edge expertise to the project.
“JCU’s IoT engineers already use smart sensor networks to deliver real-time data from tropical field sites, enabling researchers to monitor marine and natural environments from anywhere in the world,” Professor Cocklin said. “We see great potential for this technology to help make Cairns a truly smart city.”
The Australian Government is committing 50 per cent of the funding for the $1.66 million project with Cairns Regional Council, James Cook University, Wet Tropics Healthy Waterways, Itron Australasia and FNQ NRM Ltd providing the remainder.