This week I had the opportunity to speak at the Smart Cities Series about our Smart Beaches project. Smart Beaches is an exciting program that will introduce technology to Redhead and Blacksmith beaches locally, and Manly and Shelly beaches in Sydney to better inform our lifeguards and help make our beaches safer.
It was a daunting experience in Sydney at the conference, particularly being amongst a host of technical experts. However, for me I found a common link talking about the benefits to our community and the people aspect to what ultimately is a technology project.
We've partnered with Northern Beaches Council and University of Technology Sydney, as well as our other partners, on Smart Beaches.
Last year, we welcomed over one and a half million visitors to Lake Macquarie beaches. Combine this with stats from the Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report showing that there were 249 drowning deaths in NSW last year, and you start to understand why it's important to try and improve beach safety.
Essentially, the project will see sensors and a mix of other smart infrastructure installed to monitor wave and swell movement to provide earlier detection of dangerous conditions, while others will monitor visitor activity to gauge which beaches and amenities are busiest at any given time.
The data these sensors collect will then be transmitted in real-time to lifeguards, local councils and the community via a user-friendly smartphone interface. For council and our partners, success is based on managing risk and helping our lifeguards make better, more informed decisions.
The more informed our lifeguards are the better they can be prepared to provide their services where and when they are needed most. We are excited to see the technology rolled out before the end of the year.
We expect another busy summer. But with the help of this technology, we also expect it to be safer. I can't wait to see what we can achieve.
Mayor Kay Fraser