Smart Choice: First Solar-powered BBQ in Victoria

The struggle is real: you rock up at a local park, tongs in one hand, snags in the other, only to be disappointed by a poor public barbecue experience. Maybe the plate wasn’t hot enough, or it needed cleaning. Maybe the BBQ wouldn’t even turn on! Raw chicken-wings anyone?

Well, these problems are a thing of the past for residents of Narre Warren South, due to the recent installation of a Smart BBQ at Berwick Springs Wetland Reserve. This robust technology streamlines detecting and organising BBQ repairs; it also includes remote control for faster response to community feedback (for example, turning the heat up or down).

It is also the first solar-powered public-use BBQ to be installed in Victoria, which is both environmentally sustainable but also a cost-efficient way to reduce ratepayer spend on public utilities.

Springfield Ward Councillor Sam Aziz said that the Smart BBQ is yet another example of the City of Casey leading the way in adopting Smart City technologies to save money and serve the community more effectively.

“The barbecue, located in Berwick Springs – near the playground area, adjacent to the lake – allows council officers to remotely monitor maintenance services of the unit,” he said.

“This reduces the budget required for keeping public barbecues functioning. It also increases uptime because staff don’t need to visit the site, order new parts, wait for them to show, then return to fix the unit. With this system, if the BBQ malfunctions, staff are alerted remotely.

“Solar-power aligns with community expectations that the City of Casey operates sustainably. Of course, the BBQs will function day and night, no matter the weather, as the panels store battery power for evening cooking,” Cr Aziz said.

The City of Casey’s Smart City strategy leverages technology, innovation and data to solve problems across the municipality and supports the vision for Casey to become Australia’s most liveable city. The Smart BBQ is an example of this strategy in action: a public facility that tells us when it requires cleaning or fixing, allowing Council officers to respond quickly while reducing costs to ratepayers.

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