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City of Darwin wins Smart City Achievement of the Year award

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The City of Darwin’s myDarwin Support Local Program has won the Australian Achievement of the Year and the Smart City Achievement of the Year awards at the 2021 Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) Technology National Awards for Excellence.

The council’s innovation team developed the ‘myDarwin’ initiative to assist the city’s COVID-19 economic recovery. Under the program, users who registered at the myDarwin portal received $40 in discount vouchers to redeem at participating Darwin businesses in the retail, hospitality and tourism sectors. The scheme required customers to spend a minimum amount, starting at $10 to redeem the $2.50 voucher. The discounts renewed every 48 hours until the funds for the release were exhausted.

The scheme’s initial success saw it extended to seven rounds of funding amounting to $1.05 million, with the City of Darwin providing $650,000 and the NT Government $400,000. By the last release of vouchers, issued in January 2021, 417 businesses and almost 42,000 customers had signed up to the program, injecting $6.3 million into the local economy.

The City of Darwin shared the myDarwin product licence with Alice Springs Town Council, City of Palmerston, Litchfield Council, Katherine Town Council and Barkly Regional Council, who rolled out their own versions of the platform to similar success. In Alice Springs, for example, myAlice generated $2.7 million in sales from $400,000 in funding.

The City of Darwin also received highly commended in the Digital Leadership category at the MAV Technology National Awards for Excellence, which recognise councils from across Australia for their outstanding performance in delivering innovative information and communications technology solutions.

“The ‘myDarwin’ scheme was extremely successful and had a positive impact on local businesses, customers and the economy,” says Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis.

Record-breaking capital works investment

The City of Darwin has announced a $91.5 million capital works budget, the council’s largest ever investment in capital works, as part of its Draft 2021/22 Municipal Plan.

The funding is tagged for community infrastructure improvements, smart technology and environment initiatives, including:

  • $55 million to deliver the Casuarina Aquatic and Leisure Centre and Civic Centre redevelopments;
  • $4.1 million investment in sports and recreation infrastructure;
  • $14 million for Shoal Bay Waste Management facility cell capping;
  • $9.3 million to maintain parks and green spaces across the municipality;
  • $3.3 million Lee Point Road upgrade;
  • $2.25 million Velodrome improvements;
  • $2.1 million Better Suburbs and enhancements projects;
  • $1.9 million towards creating a Safer Darwin;
  • $1.4 million stormwater upgrades and reconstruction;
  • $1.3 million tree establishment program.