The tourists were so impressed with the technology – which was developed by leading mapping data specialists MapData Services (MDS) – they lobbied their own local government to adopt it when they returned home.
South Dublin County Councilor Máire Devine said the app would give responsible Irish citizens a new weapon to combat the growing problem of vandalism.
“Residents of my constituency alerted me to the app following their visit to Australia some months back,” Cr Devine said.
“Illegal dumping and graffiti appear to be on the increase here and it is destroying the efforts of the Council and residents who work tirelessly on the upkeep of their areas.
“This will provide a simple, immediate and direct link to the Council, which will be able to attend the offending sites rapidly and without delay.”
Within the first three months of the free app’s Gold Coast launch, it was downloaded more than 1,100 times and generated more than 450 graffiti reports.
MDS General Manager Cassandra Barker said she wasn’t surprised the easy-to-use app has Irish eyes smiling.
“It’s an internationally user-friendly technology: simply take a photo on your smartphone and press submit – it’s that easy,” Ms Barker said.
“When the report is submitted, the photo along with its GPS location is instantly sent to Council where it is logged so officers can arrange a response.
“The app also provides users with updates on the status of their report and a feedback option if further information is required.
“With its immediate and two-way reporting capabilities, the technology challenges traditional customer service models, enabling residents to cut through red tape by bypassing call centre queues entirely.”
Meanwhile, City of Gold Coast has praised the use of the app saying it has been instrumental in a dramatic turnaround in the city’s fight against vandalism of public and private property.
“Winning the war on graffiti requires buy-in from the entire community, not just our tireless volunteers and hardworking city cleaners,” Mayor Tom Tate said.
“Our new app puts a cleaning crew in the pocket of every local and has cut the number of incidents by an incredible 43 percent. New technology is giving us new ways to build civic pride.”
The Gold Coast’s graffiti management program made international headlines when pop artist Justin Bieber vandalised a hotel wall.