News & Media Releases

Council taps into NBN for the 3D experience

02 August 2013

Yarra Council will progress the use of 3D imagery to manage significant planning applications.

The idea is one of a number of proposals that has attracted $261,200 as well as $101,779 of in-kind support from the Digital Local Government funding program, which provides funding to encourage eligible Councils to develop online services that make use of the capabilities of the National Broadband Network (NBN).

Yarra Mayor, Cr Jackie Fristacky was joined by Senator Kate Lundy, the Minister Assisting for the Digital Economy, the Federal Member for Maribyrnong, Bill Shorten and Moonee Valley Mayor, Cr Narelle Sharpe at Fitzroy Town Hall this morning to announce this federal funding.

Cr Jackie Fristacky said improving the quality of information presented with planning applications would remove some of the impediments discouraging people from participating in the planning process.

“The current process for lodging planning applications is heavily paper based,” Cr Fristacky said.

“Plans and schematic drawings for major applications are scanned and provided on Council’s website but often they can be difficult to read and open to misinterpretation.

“With this funding, we will be able to develop online tools that allow residents to view 3D imagery and flythroughs to help them understand exactly how a proposed building will effect views, light and street appeal.

“Beyond the planning office, the NBN bandwidth will allow us to harness technology to display real-time information on maps for changes, such as planned roadworks and traffic diversions, so people can avoid works in their area.   

“The mapping technology could also allow us to provide virtual layouts of Yarra’s parks, libraries, recreational facilities and other Council buildings, giving people an idea of their key features and services before visiting them.”  

Moonee Valley’s Mayor, Cr Narelle Sharpe, said it was such an important time for Local Government to embrace new technologies to better service, communicate with, engage and empower local communities.

“This project, which will also be rolled out in Moonee Valley, will help to improve how we engage people on planning applications and other large projects across the municipality. It will help us reach people that would not normally connect with us,” she said.

“We are excited to be forging new ground with the City of Yarra by using technology in conjunction with the speed and download capabilities of the NBN.”     

Cr Fristacky said today’s announcement, made just weeks away from a referendum that considers enshrining the funding relationship between local and federal government in the Constitution, was a timely example of how local communities benefit from direct funding from the federal level to the local level. The Mayor said that this program highlights why people should vote ‘Yes’ to remedy the gap in the Constitution  to ensure such direct federal funding to local government was not at risk of challenge.

Yarra City Council will share the funding to develop new online services and tools with Moonee Valley City Council, which was a joint applicant with Yarra for funding from the Digital Local Government program.

To find out more about the Digital Local Government program, visit

Further information
Joanne Mulcahy
Executive Manager Communications & Customer Service
9205 5142




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