Home' ALGY : ALGY Edition 24 2017 Contents 264 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT YEARBOOK EDITION 24
EQUIPMENT + MACHINERY
April 2007, and is available for use by all six local Northern Rivers
councils and our local water authority, Rous Water, as well as our
We have kept the model simple by not permitting online
payments. All items need to be paid for by contacting the
selling council directly, and have to be picked up from the
ALGY: What advantages does the BidCoast service bring to
GH: BidCoast was originally set up to dispose of low-value
items, such as old personal computers, broken mobile devices
and surplus equipment, such as unused printer cartridges [that
were no longer needed] after the printers had been replaced. It
allows us to see if there is anyone interested in these items for
personal use, or for recycling or spare parts. It saves us time as
we don't need to spend resources looking for potential buyers,
and it definitely assists in reducing the amount of waste going
ALGY: Lismore City Council works with other Northern Rivers
councils on BidCoast. How does this council collaboration
work, and what are the benefits to councils in working
together in this way?
GH: The website was originally set up by Lismore City Council,
but the software allows each council to manage its own
activities and upload its own sale items. Each council is totally
responsible for its own item preparation and for all payments
and deliveries. Each council is independent, and yet we can
all use the same site -- it's a great money saver in terms of not
having to duplicate the software or the website itself over and
over. Other councils get the benefit of being able to dispose of
items for free, while the site gains credibility and more visitors,
as it allows us to have something for sale every day. This keeps
interest in the site.
ALGY: What are the benefits to the local community in
providing this service?
GH: The local community is able to acquire a range of goods at
minimal prices that, if purchased new, would cost significantly
more. For example, we have a customer who buys old PCs in need
of some work, and he refurbishes those PCs and resells them to
university students as low-cost study tools. We have had parents
buy old iPhones that no longer work as these phones still make
great MP3 players or cheap cameras for kids. There is a whole
range of people who purchase the goods, for all sorts of reasons.
ALGY: What feedback, if any, have you received from the
community about BidCoast?
GH: Where we have had feedback, it has been positive, and we
often get asked when similar items will be sold again. I'd love
to say that people tell us it's better than eBay, but for now we
remain ever hopeful! We haven't had any complaints, so we
take that as a very good sign. Members of the community have
asked if they can sell their own items on it. At this stage, we have
restricted it to councils.
ALGY: Does Council have any plans to expand or alter the
BidCoast service in the future?
GH: As people move more and more towards electronic
payments, it is very likely that we will enable electronic payments
through BidCoast. We may also consider allowing community
groups to dispose of their surplus items through the site, as this
would provide a great service to people in our community.
ALGY: What advice would you give to other councils that are
thinking about implementing a similar scheme?
GH: Keep it simple. Don't get involved in posting or arranging
delivery, and initially use your existing council payment
methods, such as payment over the counter or payment by
telephone. This can always change down the track.
ALGY: What other information can you share with us about
BidCoast and what it means for Lismore City Council?
GH: Although 80 per cent of the items sold are technology
items, we have used it to sell surplus garden equipment
including slashers, and we are currently about to use it to sell
surplus artworks from the Lismore Regional Gallery, which is
moving to a new facility later this year. It can have many and
varied applications, which is exciting in terms of where it could
lead in the future.
Although 80 per cent of the
items sold are technology
items, we have used it to sell
surplus garden equipment
including slashers, and we
are currently about to use
it to sell surplus artworks
from the Lismore Regional
Gallery, which is moving to a
new facility later this year
Continued from page 262
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