Dungog Shire Council is about to take to the skies with a new piece of technology to help staff across all departments.
The council has won third prize in the Statewide Mutual Annual Roadshow competition, which encourages local government organisations to explore the opportunities provided by drone technology.
This achievement will see council receive a $1400 D1 Store DJI Mavic Mini Drone and a training package valued at $3200 to enable the commercial license necessary for drone operation.
Council's general manager Gareth Curtis said council staff are excited to embrace the potential of drone technology across multiple departments and operations.
"The submission to win a drone was an organisation-wide effort, with contributions from staff working in all areas of Dungog Shire Council," he said.
"This win offers council a state-of-the-art technology resource that has the potential to enhance efficiencies and effectiveness in areas from landfill monitoring to road projects, compliance to conservation.
"Everyone here is excited to embrace the potential of drone technology and explore the possibilities this offers for far-reaching council programs and activities."
Manager Environmental Services, Mr Paul Minett, was responsible for coordinating and submitting the award application.
"I was aware of other councils using drone technology and could see the benefits this could bring for us here in Dungog Shire," says Mr Minett.
"Although the full functionality of this technology can't be gauged until the drone has been received and training completed, we are already aware of countless advantageous ways the drone can be used.
- Completion of volumetric surveys at the Dungog Waste Management facility;
- River system surveillance and other conservation and agricultural activities;
- Natural disaster identification, prevention and assistance including bushfire and flood;
- Compliance activities including site inspections on difficult or inaccessible sites; and
- Capturing aerial footage for regional tourism and promotional purposes.
"And these activities are just the beginning," said Mr Minett.
"But to the staff member who was hoping the drone could deliver a daily morning coffee to their desk - they may be waiting awhile."
Dungog Shire Council was selected from among 38 organisations, in the annual event hosted by Statewide Mutual Insurers and sponsored by AVCRM - Complete Compliance and Risk Management Software Solutions.