Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service


Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service is part of the Department of Environment and Science in Queensland. They are responsible for the management of 3 million hectares in the Southern part of Queensland in Australia.

We recently spoke to Greg Carter, who is the Senior Ranger responsible for Assets in the Southwest Region. Greg’s role is to look after the infrastructure and heavy plant machinery in the parks and forests of this particular area, and he has a team of others to help assist him.

Currently they have 61 RockSTARs, 40 RockDASHs, and 2 RockFLEETs which are tracking assets within their department. In this conversation, we learn how TracPlus and these devices help Queensland Parks improve their operations.

 QPWS and Tracplus

How long have you been with TracPlus and what made you choose our platform?

“We’ve been with Tracplus for over 2 years now. We chose TracPlus after we had done a fair amount of market research on what was out there in terms of communication and tracking systems. We had used a couple of other proprietary systems that were available, but were mainly for the recreational market, so they didn’t suit our needs as far as mapping, communication, and emergency response. Due to an encounter with an aviation contract, we were exposed to the TracPlus system and really liked what we saw."

How does TracPlus help your operations on a daily basis?

“On a daily basis TracPlus enables us to keep track of where all of our assets are, whether that’s our heavy plant machines and vehicles, or staff on-foot. We regularly have staff up on remote walking tracks that we can communicate with both ways because of the system."
QPWS tracplus ranger tracking

What TracPlus features and functionalities are the most important for you, and why?

“The feature that is very important for us is the visual representation of where our staff are in the landscape, with the ability to overlay different mapping layers for viewing on the platform. This allows us to see the topography and where exactly within a particular area our staff are, and we can also bring in other features like hot spots to see where we have any planned burns.

The emergency response features are incredibly important too. For example, the inertia alarm on our vehicles can alert us if the vehicle has a rollover and this is huge for us."

What would you say are the biggest strengths of the TracPlus system?

"The biggest strength of the TracPlus system is the lack of latency time to get a message to a staff member and for them to send a response. This was one of the key differences between the TracPlus system and other systems we had been trialling as well."

What does having TracPlus mean for your team?

"For our team, TracPlus means peace of mind for everyone. Whether it’s the team monitoring where our staff are, or the on-foot staff in the field doing the work, it just provides peace of mind. Knowing that if they strike an emergency at any point in time they can let someone know immediately. The fact that we can monitor exactly where they are and what they’re doing means we can always respond with the necessary assistance they may need."

Has there ever been any specific occasion you can think of where TracPlus has helped you save time or money?

"TracPlus has allowed us to fill in a big part of our response jigsaw, which really helps go towards saving time and money. We’ve got plant machinery which costs thousands of dollars an hour to run, so keeping that running cost down by having a good system like TracPlus saves us a lot of money by improving our response time."

What would you say to someone thinking about implementing a tracking system?

"I would say to someone thinking about a system like TracPlus is to really have a look at the features. Our market research showed us that TracPlus provided the best response times and latency. It would be very difficult to go past a system like TracPlus to get value for money, and also all of the features that you have access to within the platform."

What was life like before the TracPlus system?

"Before we had TracPlus, we were actually trialling a number of recreational systems. We had some level of assurance that people were able to get support if they struck an emergency, but we were always unsure of the latency lag time that existed when they pressed the button. These first systems were very simple and didn’t allow us to import mapping layers or overlay different levels of action or resources on it. The level of uncertainty was always there for us when using them. Now that’s all changed after bringing TracPlus on board."

How did TracPlus help you win the DG Safety Behaviour Award?

"The recent safety award that myself and former colleague Alistair Hartley won within QPWS was awarded for the work that we’d done in implementing the TracPlus system. What they looked at was the different elements of safety improvement within our department. With the TracPlus system, we were able to show the portal access, the hardware, technical backup, and emergency response features which were all key factors in being able to achieve the award."


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