New smart poles rolled out in Fishermans Bend

New smart poles rolled out in Fishermans Bend
Brendan Rees

New smart poles featuring weather sensors, transport sensors, LoRaWAN connectivity and smart lighting will be activated as part of a 12-month pilot program in Fishermans Bend.

The City of Melbourne is partnering with the state government to trial eight smart poles on Turner and Graham streets as a part of the “gateway” to the General Motors Holden (GMH) project in Fishermans Bend.

The “Gateway to GMH” project seeks to transform the corridor from the Fishermans Bend Innovation Precinct at the former GMH site on Salmon St into the CBD, creating a future employment hub.

The smart poles will host different types of sensors, as well as low range wide area networks (LoRaWAN) gateways, smart lighting, transport sensor/car and bike counting and a pedestrian counting sensor, that will help gather data on transport, noise, electric weather, air quality and more.

“The rise in smart technologies has increased the potential for many new devices, creating visual clutter in the streetscape. We are exploring how to solve this challenge using innovative technologies,” the council said.

“We are trialling smart poles in Fishermans Bend to understand the efficiency, impacts and opportunities they bring. The outcomes of this pilot will help inform the expansion of smart poles to other parts of Melbourne.”

“Sensors help collect important data about how the city functions. Smart poles enable us to install various sensors in one location without over cluttering our streets.”

The smart poles were installed from last September to March, with the piloting of pole sensors to be trialled until April 2025 before an analysis is undertaken.

According to the council, data is stored permanently for records and analysis, but noted “we are not collecting any data that could personally identify anyone”.

The council’s education and innovation portfolio lead Cr Davydd Griffiths (pictured) said the trial of smart poles would create “more connected and efficient open spaces”.


We’re putting this technology to the test and will use its data to inform future projects and improve the way people move around.


Fishermans Bend is Australia’s largest-ever urban renewal project and is locally governed by the City of Melbourne (north of the Westgate Freeway) and the City of Port Phillip to the south, covering 480 hectares.

The area is made up of five precincts including Montague, Sandridge, Wirraway, Lorimer and the Employment Precinct.

By 2050, Fishermans Bend is expected to be home to approximately 80,000 residents and provide employment for up to 80,000 people.

Smart poles are also being used in Geelong, City of Yarra, Sydney, Brisbane, and Darwin. •

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