Federal program to get councils online

South Australian councils have grouped together to use a content management system to store information and offer state-wide searches from a single Web site.

South Australia is the forefront of the national program which will be operational in every state and territory across Australia.

For example in Tasmania, 27 out of 29 councils have signed on for the federally funded program with the Northern Territory site set to go in coming months.

The Local Government Association of South Australia (LGASA) wanted to move district council services online using shared infrastructure to reduce mutual costs.

To date 60 out of 68 councils in South Australia are using the system, which uses the Chimo content management tool Unity for the electronic services program on Tamino XML servers.

LGASA program manager John Mundy said the solution is the first in Australia to use metabase for the storage of all local council information and the first to offer state-wide searches across all council sites.

"We are providing a common information exchange and point for communication. LGASA has streamlined complex administrative processes to provide fast, easy access to complete and accurate community records," Mundy said.

"Councils can now have a Web presence which is cheaper to design and maintain than a purpose-built site that has the added bonus of being connected to every other single council site."

Information that will be featured on the site will be business listings, cemetery registers, an events database, impounded animal register, media releases, local government projects, community information, galleries, public notices and tenders.

The federal government has made available $5.4 million over two years for the national project.

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