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NSW to Use Digital Data Service to Address Homelessness

Digital Data Service to Address Homelessness in NSW

A new digital data service will record information relating to rough sleepers in real-time in order to better facilitate collaboration between service providers for those experiencing homelessness in NSW.

According to a recent press release, Premier Gladys Berejiklian shared that the NSW Government partnered with global tech giant Microsoft and the Act to End Street Sleeping Collaboration to bring the project to fruition.

About the Initiative

This new initiative will bring light and provide a more accurate understanding of the challenges being faced every day by more than 37,000 people in NSW who experience homelessness.

Using technology to collect a range of social and demographic data on rough sleepers can help improve the way the state government responds to homelessness.

Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward explained that the launch of the initiative comes during the inaugural Connections Week, which aims to create a by-name list of people sleeping rough in Sydney’s CBD.

The homelessness targets set by the Government require an innovative approach as well as collaboration with the non-government partners.

By compiling a database of rough sleepers, the assertive outreach teams and NGOs will be able to better collaborate towards a common goal.

The aim of the initiative is to create a vulnerability index of rough sleepers across the state, to determine risk and help prioritise specialist services.

How it Will Work

  • Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said the data will be captured using a mobile device and will include geolocation technology.
  • The use of digital technology makes life easier for some of the most vulnerable people in the community.
  • Data collected will be used to inform potential expansion of the program across the state.
  • In other news, mobile phone detection cameras have started operating from Sunday 1 December 2019. Drivers caught using a mobile phone will face penalties.

Mobile Phone Detection Camera

For the first three months, drivers caught by a mobile phone detection camera will receive a warning letter.

After that, the penalty for offending drivers is five demerit points and a fine of AU$ 344 or AU$ 457 if in a school zone. The penalty will increase to 10 demerit points during double demerit periods.

The program will progressively expand to perform an estimated 135 million vehicle checks on NSW roads each year by 2023.

Executive Director of Transport for NSW’s Centre for Road Safety Bernard Carlon said a trial of cameras earlier this year caught over 100,000 drivers illegally using a phone.

Independent modelling has shown that these cameras could prevent around 100 fatal and serious injury crashes over five years.

There is strong community support for more enforcement, with 80% of people surveyed supporting the use of detection cameras to stop illegal mobile phone use.

NSW Police will continue to enforce illegal mobile phone use and issue fines as part of the camera program.


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