BY the end of the year, Bathurst residents will be able to charge their devices while out and about in the city.
Bathurst Regional Council, through a NSW Government grant from the Building Community Partnerships Fund, will make an $11,500 investment to install smart benches within the Bathurst central business district.
A smart bench is a street bench fitted with technology that enables people to wirelessly charge their mobile devices, such as phones and tablets by simply sitting them on the terminal attached to the seat.
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The benches also enhance the strength of the wi-fi signal to make free wi-fi faster while seated at the bench.
Mayor Bobby Bourke said installing the benches is part of council's strategy to become a Smart City.
"This is a common technology found in many Smart Cities around the world," he said. "They help to keep people within our CBD for longer."
Up to four benches are to be installed, utilising existing benches, by the end of 2020, with council considering putting them in Keppel Street, William Street and at the rail museum.
Cr Bourke explained that this project will directly assist economic growth in the 2020-21 financial year.
"Smart Benches enhance the use of our CBD and keep people in our CBD for longer, especially tourists," he said.
"With the benches placed in strategic locations, this leads to busier shopping precincts and cultural facilities."
It's possible that more benches will be installed in the future.
"Council will review the success of the initial smart benches to determine if any further rollout should take place," Cr Bourke said.
Bathurst council joined the Australian Smart Communities Association (ASCA) several years ago and since then has commenced work on or completed projects that assist Bathurst in becoming a smart city.
Among the projects are the CBD wi-fi network, increasing infrastructure for electric vehicles, smart street lighting and a closed-circuit television (CCTV) network.