Electronic era arrives as council embraces iPads

Allan Smith did not own one of the brick-sized mobile phones available when he started civic duties two decades ago but today he is at home with an iPad.

Dubbo's longest-serving councillor has embraced the popular computer tablet but it was not always that way.

He was previously opposed to Dubbo City Council investing in the new technology, but the iPad's retail price converted him.

"It was quite expensive before, but with iPads, the costs are dramatically reduced, so I accept it," he said.

"Now we're talking hundreds of dollars not thousands of dollars each."

He admitted cost was not the only consideration.

"Also, in more recent years I've become more skilled," he said.

"Today I find it more easy to use."

The council has rolled out iPads for the city's 11 councillors.

They will receive meeting agendas, business papers and other correspondence via a special application installed on the tablet.

Cr Smith was convinced the electronic system was an improvement on printing and delivering correspondence.

It was faster and cost less in materials and labour, he said.

Most councillors brought their iPads to this week's committee meetings, and their use prompted a few jovial comments.

"A couple of times I was in front of the other councillors and I could say, 'catch up'," Cr Smith said.

"Normally I'm dragging the chain."

The councillor's recent experience suggested the writing was on the wall for technological dinosaurs.

"The electronic era has arrived and people like myself who are slow to grab hold of it will just have to deal with it," Cr Smith said.

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