TOWNSVILLE’s upgraded public surveillance system has now been live for about one month. The system was completed early July as part of Townsville Council’s Safe Community Security Strategy.

Council has upgraded the city’s main network of 109 CCTV cameras, including 31 high-definition cameras. Cameras now cover key areas including the CBD, The Strand, Jezzine Barracks, Riverway, Black Weir and Thuringowa Library.

The surveillance-based strategy has moved away from using security guards to improving the live monitoring of CCTV cameras and building a closer relationship with police to respond to incidents as they happen. The new strategy will cost $A2 million but according to council, there will be significant savings.


Townsville Mayor, Jenny Hill

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill told the Townsville Bulletin when contracts were awarded for the work that the strategy would allow for a smooth transition to the new measures from July once existing security contracts finished.

“Council’s new strategy will bring in a much higher level of security for the Townsville community,” she said.

“Instead of sporadic security patrols spread thinly across the city at great expense, the city will have eyes watching over major public areas around the clock to assist the police.

“Only the police have the powers of arrest, but CCTV coverage and surveillance provided by councils has an important role in public safety.”

The Strand at Townsville

Meanwhile Healthy and Safe City Committee chairman Cr Gary Eddiehausen told the Townsville Bulletin that the new strategy was in line with other cities and followed a 5-month review of the council’s existing security coverage.

“Townsville’s strategy has cherry-picked from other cities and is considered a far more effective way of managing security than what we currently do,” Cr Eddiehausen said.

Cr Eddiehausen said the new system allowed the council to log incidents in real time and provide vision to police as quickly as possible.

“Council will review the strategy every three months to see how the new arrangements are working and make whatever adjustments are needed,” he said.

As part of the strategy, contracts were awarded to MSS Security for 24-hour CCTV monitoring at the Garbutt depot. Ardent Security won a tender for alarm monitoring and maintenance at council facilities.