Lodging council complaints easier

THE time-honoured tradition of whingeing to your local council is going high-tech and 24/7.

Tweed and Ballina Shire Councils have quietly launched a technological tool that will eventually allow you to log customer requests dir-ectly around the clock with a smartphone.

It's thanks to an application powered by BlinkMobile which offers tech tools for 30 councils around Australia. Tweed was the first in the region, and one of the first in Australia, to launch the app in August 2010 for which councils pay an annual lic-ensing fee.

Tweed's and Ballina's apps are mainly limited to providing information like bin collection days, council tenders, and library book availability. But once the technology has been bedded down, there are plans to introduce interactive capabilities. Residents would be able to directly report issues like missed bins, pot-holes, dog attacks and water meter and sewerage prob-lems as well as check on the progress of their development application and the condition of local sporting fields.

The app will eventually be integrated into the council's internal systems, meaning resident feedback will go straight to the right department rather than be passed through a telephone operator or central email system.

Chris Auld, a spokesman for Ecoview which builds the apps for BlinkMobile, said the technology it would automatically format for what-ever device you're using whether it be a smartphone, PC or tablet. Councils could also load a range of capabilities onto one app for the convenience of their residents.

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