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Keeping customers informed

Accessible information fast

TMR’s web channels continue to be a convenient way for customers to gain access to the information and services they need. The year saw 49 million page views, representing people accessing the information they require across Queensland Government transport pages and the TMR website.

By providing information through web channels people can access what they require at any time of the day. Analysis showed that there was not one hour in a 24-hour cycle in which the department’s digital information was not being viewed.

Accessible information is not just about availability. One of the behind the scenes commitment that the department undertakes is to deliver information to meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. The department continues to actively transition to a more appropriate digital content format.

Social media

Throughout the year social media played a pivotal role in informing, educating and engaging with the Queensland community. Customers continue to expect a high level of direct engagement through on-page interactions and direct messaging.

Facebook continues to be TMR’s largest community with followers increasing by 9.3 per cent to 344,364. In line with international trends, the Twitter channel showed stagnating growth with followers decreasing by 0.6 per cent to 252,536. Total followers across all platforms increased by 5.5 per cent. Customers also continue to rely on the channels for information and customer service requests, with dedicated customer service team members responding to 4838 enquiries on Facebook and Twitter last year.

Followers have told TMR they enjoy regular content such as our weekly educational road rules post. These posts educate the public on Queensland road rules while generating high engagement, meaningful interactions and healthy debates within our social media communities. TMR followers enjoy unusual CCTV content such as footage of a cockatoo who is a regular visitor to one of our highway cameras. Unusual footage like this generates high engagement and, in some cases, like the cockatoo, a global audience. This year was the first time the team carried out live-tweeting of an event. The Queensland Walking Summit on 14 March was chosen to live- tweet. This exercise was a success with engagement becoming obvious both at the event and externally as the event’s hashtag began trending.

The department’s social media channels continued to be a trusted information source in times of crisis and during several severe weather events throughout the year.

TMR’s LinkedIn community also continues to grow with content output increasing from 130 posts in the 2017–18 to more than 140 in 2018–19. The department continues to share good news stories positioning TMR as an employer of choice and a leader within the transport sector.

The delivery of high-quality and timely information to the public ensures we are continuing to meet the Queensland Government’s DIGITAL1ST approach.

Our content connected with customers by providing them access to areas they could not and gave them a simple message of hope
Erin Bell, Program Support Co-ordinator (North Queensland Region)
Facebook post of cockatoo looking into a traffic camera

An example of one of the department’s highest performing Facebook posts.

QLDTraffic app

The QLDTraffic app and website provides road users with real- time information about road conditions, such as roadworks, crashes, flooding, hazards and congestion, as well as rest areas and dump points. Users can also view live traffic camera feeds to check routes before they commence travel.

The QLDTraffic mobile app has seen numerous enhancements since it was launched in February 2017, to meet evolving customer needs.

In 2018–19, the app has been downloaded 42,332 times, while the QLDTraffic website has been visited over 1.59 million times.

The graph below shows the number of phone calls, website and mobile application visits and Twitter posts QLDTraffic experienced in the 2018-19 financial year.

The December 2018 peak correlates to the bushfires in North Queensland, and the January 2019 peak correlates to the high rainfall event in North Queensland.

A person using the QLDTraffic app on their phone

The QLDTraffic smartphone app can be used to get the latest traffic and travel information, from roadworks and hazards to rest areas and dump points.

Cassowary feature on QLDTraffic app

TMR is trialling a new feature on its QLDTraffic mobile application which allows users to report sightings of cassowaries near the road, and then warns other nearby motorists of the potential hazard.

The feature is available for QLDTraffic app users in the Cassowary Coast, Cairns, Yarrabah and Cape York regions and aims to trial the capability of crowdsourcing information through the QLDTraffic app, while reducing the incidents of vehicles hitting the endangered cassowaries in far north Queensland.

By pushing the ‘Report Cassowary’ button in the app, members of the public send an alert to the QLDTraffic services which then automatically advises other road users is the area of the potential road hazard.

This alert is active for one hour and anyone within 500 metres of the site using the QLDTraffic app in ‘travel mode’ will receive an audio alert saying ‘Recent cassowary sighting nearby. Drive carefully’. These alerts are also shared via the QLDTraffic website, and to other traveller information services via an open data feed.

TMR will assess the success of the trial in consultation with the Cassowary Recovery Team, a group of organisations working together to protect the Southern Cassowary and their habitats and will share information gathered with the Department of Environment and Science.

Peak usage of 13 19 40, website traffic and usage of QLDTraffic app

Graph of 13 19 40 phone number, website traffic and QLDTraffic app all peaking around February 2019.

Data source: 131940 phone and web analytics (provided by Telstra and Google).

Note: Data for 2010–11 for the website is not included as a different (and non-comparable) reporting tool was used at this time.

Cyclone preparation

In November 2018, departmental staff took part in Townsville’s Cyclone Sunday helping over 2000 residents prepare for the wet weather and cyclone season.

TMR was one of the 36 exhibitors who took part in the event by informing the public on how to stay safe during events such as cyclones, storms and floods.

At the event, TMR showcased the QLDTraffic app, ‘If it’s flooded, forget it’ messaging and educated vessel owners on looking after their boats and implementing remedial measures in advance of a cyclone.

Following Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie in 2016 where hundreds of vessels were damaged, TMR committed to minimise the impact of such events on both vessel owners and the broader community through proactive messaging at events such as Cyclone Sunday.

Townsville City Council’s annual Cyclone Sunday event is held on the first Sunday in November each year and brings together numerous stakeholders and government agencies to raise awareness on the best preparations for homeowners, vessel owners and residents.

People at a Maritime Safety Queensland event promoting lifejacket use and safety

The TMR banner flies high at the Cyclone Sunday event.

Caravan Safety Check Program

The number of caravans, campers and motorhomes accessing the road network tends to significantly increase with the onset of the holiday season.

The free Caravan Safety Check is a road safety initiative to help and inform caravan owners of their compliance requirements by offering to weigh, measure and provide general advice on modifications, D Shackles, safety chains, tow couplings and loading suggestions all without fear of enforcement action.

TMR Inspectors and staff visit multiple locations throughout Queensland including Brisbane, Gold Coast, Toowoomba, Maryborough, Mackay and Rockhampton to conduct caravan safety checks as well as educating drivers regarding safe driving, safe vehicles and safe roads.

Transport inspectors performing safety inspections on caravans

TMR Inspectors conducting caravan safety checks in Brisbane.

Seniors road safety pilot program

TMR worked with Queensland Police Service and Neighbourhood Watch groups across the Sunshine Coast to build awareness of safe driving practices among the region’s older drivers. The pilot program, held at retirement villages and community centres, provide information about safe driving—including a refresher in road rules, discussion of health-related issues and tips for transitioning from driving.

Building on the success of the forums, refresher practical drives have been piloted, providing seniors with an opportunity to voluntarily have their driving ‘informally assessed’ by a department Driving Examiner. The initiative proved hugely popular, with participant feedback reflecting the value of the experience.

Seniors attending the road safety pilot program

Seniors attending the road safety pilot program.

Case study

Transport Inspectors come to the aid of stranded motorists

On Friday 21 December 2018, Longreach Transport Inspectors Gregory Weir and Gregory Dowse came to the aid of two stranded motorists in remote Central Queensland 135 kilometres from Winton in 43-degree heat. The motorist became stranded after a serious mechanical issue with their utility some 20 hours prior to being located by our Transport Inspectors. The inspectors utilised their satellite phone to contact the Central Regional Office who then contacted a tow truck company and informed local police of the situation. This is a great example of how the department provides vital assistance to those in remote locations throughout Queensland.