Home » Potholes… there’s an app for that

Potholes… there’s an app for that

Daniel Bouwmeester    October 8, 2022    3 min read   

Residents of Greater Springfield have been diligently reporting potholes and other public safety issues in a matter of seconds, thanks to some handy digital tools.

Most public roads are controlled by the local council, while the major roads, like the Centenary Highway, are owned by the state government.

For council property maintenance issues, including deteriorating footpaths or overgrown foliage, the Ipswich City Council offers a plethora of services to customers wishing to make a complaint, including by phone and via the MyIpswich web portal.

Another alternative is the award-winning mobile app Snap Send Solve, first released in 2010, which the Council currently processes manually under a basic partnership.

The app allows residents to identify and take a photo of a problem in their community, which it then uploads with geotagged metadata to a pool of data that Ipswich City Council can action within moments.

All Australian local councils and, more recently, other public or private service bodies are able to register. There is also an option to become a ‘Supporting Authority’, a paid partnership that provides a fully featured service. Australia Post, Telstra, and the NBN are some of its current supporters.

Division 2 Councillor Paul Tully praised the user-friendly experience of the program, which he encouraged residents to download.

A close-up of a pothole on Springfield Lakes Boulevard, outside the YMCA, in early September. Images: Daniel Bouwmeester/Local News Publications.

“It forwards full details of the issue, including a map reference and even a photo of the problem if necessary direct to the Ipswich City Council call centre,” Cr Tully said.

“I use it myself. It is a 24/7 service, and residents submitting issues will receive an acknowledgment within 90 seconds from council.”

The popularity of the app has since skyrocketed. In 2019, the company received 22,623 reports across Queensland. In 2020, that figure nearly doubled. Some of the most commonly reported issues were under the categories Dumped Rubbish, Illegal Parking, Overgrown Vegetation, Damaged Pavement, and Graffiti, according to the Snap Send Solve website.

That spike in uptake of digital technology report processing (or ‘e-processing’) lines up with data provided by the Community, Culture, Arts and Sport Committee, in its Customer Services Report Card released on September 15.

It saw a jump of nearly 70 per cent from July 2021 to June 2022.

“The growth in e-processing highlights a customer appetite to engage with Ipswich City Council through online channels, and the opportunity to improve internal efficiencies through improvements to these workflows,” the Committee indicated in its report.

For more information, visit www.snapsendsolve.com/queensland.

If you need to report an urgent road maintenance issue that is a public safety hazard, call Ipswich City Council on 3810 6666.

Likewise, for state roads, contact the Department of Transport and Main Roads on 13 GOVT (13 74 68).

Daniel Bouwmeester

Daniel was born in a mining town in New South Wales to Dutch and Welsh immigrants, before relocating to Logan City, where he attended Canterbury College for twelve years. He pursued his passion for music by completing a first-class honours degree at the University of Queensland (UQ), and later signed with a local record label. He has travelled the world from a young age, including a student exchange in rural France, a job working the ski lifts in Colorado, and visits to the islands of the South Pacific. After a six-year career in market research, Daniel returned to UQ to complete a Bachelor of Journalism and Arts dual degree, majoring in political science. His varied experiences at home and abroad have contributed to a passion for spreading good news while defending the truth buried inside complex societal paradigms.