BRIGHTON Council is looking to provide management support services as well as its IT software to councils in East Malaysia and the Philippines.
The software has been developed by Microwise Australia, Brighton’s wholly-owned software business, and Asian local government advisers are talking to Brighton Council about the provision of management and operational support services in the two countries.
Brighton Mayor Tony Foster said the interest from Malaysia and the Philippines was extremely encouraging.
“We have the opportunity to sell our IT software and also to provide our processes and procedures to assist in the modernisation and efficiency of their councils,” Cr Foster said.
“We recently hosted their advisers at Brighton to determine how we could progress this important opportunity.”
Dr James Alin from the University of Sabah in East Malaysia advises local government authorities in the two countries and he says the potential market for the Microwise software and Brighton’s consultancy services in the region is substantial.
Dr Alin visited Tasmania along with leading Australian local government academic Professor Brian Dollery who are both advising on how the software and council services can be best transferred to assist local government in Malaysia and the Philippines.
Cr Foster said the fit-for-purpose Microwise local government software was an ideal tool for improving council efficiency.
“We developed it originally because Brighton Council was unable to source any suitable IT software specific for small to medium councils.
“We had the skills within Microwise, so we developed our own software to meet Brighton’s needs. Known as Propertywise, this comprehensive property and information management system manages council functions from development applications and building registrations to rating assessments and billing and animal control.
“The software is now being used by local government authorities throughout Australia and the South Pacific.”
Cr Foster said the interest from Malaysia and the Philippines followed the recent partnership Microwise formed with specialist national technology consultancy Opensystems Technology Pty Ltd (OST) to market the Microwise software throughout Australia and overseas.
“Microwise is rapidly becoming a Tasmanian information technology success story,” Cr Foster said.
“Our Propertywise software has been used by a number of Tasmanian and interstate councils for more than 10 years and is now being used the Suva City Council in Fiji and Rouse Water in NSW.
“With OST, we’ve combined Propertywise with accounting, payroll and other functions to provide a tailored suite of technology solutions specially suited to small to medium councils and local utilities and are marketing it under the CouncilFirst banner.
“The City of Palmerston in the Northern Territory has recently purchased CouncilFirst and sales discussions are now taking place with numerous local government authorities throughout Australia.
“Local government is under constant pressure to reduce costs and get the very best value for the ratepayer dollar, so councils are looking for affordable and functional IT software.
“Our Propertywise / CouncilFirst software is extremely cost-effective and has the best functionality and ease of use.
“It has been developed in Tasmania by people who know the needs of local government and it is certainly technology that every council should look at because of the efficiency gains and significant savings it provides.
“Brighton can also assist with the provision of local government management and operational services. We are keen to help the Asian local authorities learn how we do business and make the efficiency gains enjoyed by Brighton and the other Tasmanian councils we work with,” Cr Foster said.
The head of Tasmania’s IT peak industry group commended Brighton Council on its innovation.
TasICT executive officer Dean Winter said the opportunity for Brighton Council to export its software and services represented a valuable opportunity for Tasmania.
Mr Winter said the software developed by Microwise was an industry leader and an example of how Tasmania could develop technology to sell to the world.
“Their fit-for-purpose local government software is so cost effective, everyone of Tasmania’s 29 councils should use it,” he said.