Brimbank (VIC) Moving Towards a Smart “Community First” Council

Brimbank city council believes in taking a “Community First” approach to everything it does.

Dominic Di Martino, Asset and Property Manager at Brimbank City Council, has been a passionate advocate for the promotion of better and smarter technology as a means to transform the way Council connects with its community in delivering better and more efficient services; ever relevant in today’s economy. He explains about his involvement in pursuing technology to improve the services that public assets help provide.

In simple words, Dominic says, “Our aim is to change our traditional approach to asset management practices by making the right maintenance decisions at precisely the right time.”

As a council, where do you start your Smart City journey? What are the painpoints you need to address?

For Mr Di Martino, the answer is explicit:

  • Our first project was about ensuring that street litter bins were attended to at precisely the right time and avoid over servicing or under-servicing. There is a lot of variability in terms of usage of bins, highly dependent on time of the year, events, weather, etc. Having a standard service routine, will almost always mean servicing the bins either too early or too late, clearly less than optimal.

Indeed, these highly visible assets should be serviced in the most efficient and timely manner possible, so as to maintain a positive image of the overall community..

For Brimbank, following this first project, the vision is getting clearer and they see 3 main next steps to keep moving forward:

1- Expand the smart bin project beyond the initial commitment as it proved to be of high value to them. The data collected on the first pilot was already very helpful to better understanding the variability of use of the bins and how this technology could be integrated with existing systems.

2- Explore new projects such as:

  • using the temperature-sensing feature of the bin device to monitor the “urban heat island effect” and identify appropriate strategies to overcome this issue where they exist.
  • connecting public toilet assets – similarly to bins, using remote sensors to ensure Council’s public toilets are well maintained and issues are identified and responded to as they arise.

3- Liveability: Anything to do with improving our urban landscape. By being able to monitor noise, pollution, wind speed, temperature, humidity, and rainfall, practical strategies can then be implemented to help mitigate this and improve the liveability of our cities and community.

For the fans of technology, let’s review apart the Internet fo Things’ solution involved to monitor the bins:

  • The device (PiPIoT LevelSense), a level sensor with complementary geolocation, temperature & tilt features.
  • The platform: Bigmate IoT platform, based on AWS, easily integrates into Council’s existing asset management system to automate service requests at precisely the right time, as well as integrating into their current GIS map system. Bigmate IoT Platform also enables many other use cases and devices with a single platform for Brimbank to build upon.
  • The connectivity network by Sigfox: As Dominic says, “The choice was relatively straight forward in selecting the Sigfox network. The LPWAN IoT infrastructure was installed and provided for free, avoiding high cost of CAPEX investment and long tender process.”

Brimbank was supported by Thinxtra to fast track solutions towards more efficiencies via the Smart Council Program.

As a Council, you can replicate this project as well as others by simply contacting Thinxtra at [email protected] to request a meeting with our smart-council team to tailor our approach to your IoT strategy.

On a last note, Thinxtra was the 2018 winner of The Communications Alliance Acomms Award as Best Marketing Initiative for this smart council program.

About the Brimbank City Council
The City of Brimbank is the second largest municipality in Melbourne, located in the Western Region about 20 kms from the central business district. It is a culturally diverse municipality with about 43 per cent of the population being born overseas and 37 per cent being under 24 years of age.
Brimbank is currently experiencing strong residential, industrial and commercial development. Brimbank includes 25 new and established suburbs and incorporates one of the largest industrial areas in Melbourne. It also has a number of important institutions including the Sunshine Hospital and the St Albans campus of the Victoria University of Technology.

Dominic Di Martino is the Asset and Property Manager for the City of Brimbank. He is a passionate advocate for the promotion of the use of smart technology and innovation as a way to modernise the way government engages with, and serves, its communities – an approach that is now more critical than ever in a global economy that affects everyone.
Having worked as an engineering and infrastructure consultant in the private sector
before joining Local Government in 2005, Dominic has seen how an organisation’s
creativity, curiosity for the unknown, and a sense of adventure, can be the one catalyst
that can initiate and sustain transformational change.

About Bigmate
Part of the 2SG Technology Group, Bigmate was established with a vision to be one of the leading innovators in the global field of Internet of Assets (GPS monitoring and asset management technology). Today, with over 15 years’ experience in the field, they are one of the brightest telematics and Internet of Assets (IoA) solution providers, offering cutting-edge GPS monitoring and productivity solutions to a broad range of industries and markets. Headquartered in Brisbane, they have a national presence and cater for over 25 Australian Local Government Councils.
They understand that data-driven insights can be a lifeline to a business and high and low value assets can be a constant source of intelligence for a business. Bigmate’s solution can unlock the assets’ voice and allow them to speak, revealing information than can help monitor assets, save on operational expenses and providing information that can assist in greater business understanding – thus enabling better business decisions to be made.

More info at

About Thinxtra
Thinxtra is empowering the Internet of Things in Asia Pacific by operating the world-leading Sigfox LPWA network as well as enabling a full eco-system of IoT solutions and services partners to connect the non-connected, to increase productivity, to accelerate decision making, to improve quality of service and quality of life, and to find more economical solutions to common problems.

Sigfox is the world’s leading provider of connectivity for the Internet of Things (IoT). The company has built a global network to connect billions of devices to the Internet while consuming as little energy as possible, as simply as possible. Sigfox’s unique approach to device-to-cloud communications addresses the three greatest barriers to global IoT adoption: cost, energy consumption, and global scalability.

Thinxtra is backed by the CEFC (Clean Energy Finance Corporation), an Australian Government fund with a mission to accelerate local transformation towards more efficiencies.

Thinxtra is an active member of the Australian Smart Communities Association.

Thinxtra was also the 2018 winner of The Communications Alliance Acomms Award as Best Marketing Initiative for its smart cou

ncil program.

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