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By Mat Greskie, IPWEA President Elect  While I thoroughly enjoyed all the sessions I’ve attended today at the International Public Works Conference, and I always appreciate the sessions which really stretch your thinking, I think a strength of the conference is that those sessions are also balanced by on-the-ground public works practitioners sharing their experiences of actual projects. The session today titled 'Challenges and Triumphs when Implementing a Work Management System' by Alison Saunders was one of those sessions. Alison detailed the success story of the implementation of a work management system into the City of Greater Dandenong. It was a ...
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Asset management guru Jeff Roorda has delivered a fascinating presentation at IPWEA's International Public Works Conference, asking asset strategists to start thinking differently about risk.  

 "We have to expand our understanding of risk," Roorda said. 

"Historically, town planners have planned and engineers have built and accountants have accounted. In the future they’ll all have to work together." In his presentation, Roorda pointed out that our culture has two 'blind spots'.  "We don't know how to reliably account for or predict potential changes to some of the most important elements in our lives. Basic needs such as health, safety, clean air ...
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More than 70% of 10,000 people surveyed would accept mental or physical augmentation if it made them better at their job, according to PwC's Jon Williams.  The Managing Partner of PwC's People Business opened IPWEA's International Public Works Conference in Perth with a thought provoking discussion on the future of work, addressing how computer technology will change the very idea of what constitutes work.  Williams took delegates through the five stages of human work: domestication, industrialisation, robotisation, digitisation – and now augmentation.  In a survey of 10,000 people across India, China, the US, the UK and Germany, Williams said the vast majority ...
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Four of Tasmania’s brightest young public works engineers are set to bring new ideas and practices to their communities thanks to a $14,000 grant program to attend the industry’s leading international conference in Perth later this month. Callum Pearce-Rasmussen of Brighton Council, Patrick McGuire of Kingborough Council, Bill Hanley of Hobart City Council and Liam Seymour of the City of Launceston will attend the International Public Works Conference after being awarded $3500 in conference registration, travel and accommodation grants by the Tasmanian Division of the Institute of Public Works Engineering (IPWEA). The grants program enhances the skills of ...
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Rob Wilson – IPWEA FLEET Manager I was speaking at a conference this week where the MC made an impassioned plea for members to collaborate and share their knowledge for the benefit of all. I couldn’t help but think how lucky we are in our industry, the fleet industry, to have a high level of cooperation and knowledge sharing and resources like Ask Your Mates to help us learn together. Of course, one of the greatest benefits of attending our workshops and conference is the opportunity to meet colleagues and share ideas and problems. We will be running our Plant and Vehicle Management one-day workshop again later this year and the content will be focused ...
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By Anonymous Fleet Manager

 Why is it that some people believe that if they own a car, that automatically qualifies them to be a fleet manager and provide advice on how to run the fleet? Who do they think they are? If you were to have a look at the position descriptions of these people, I’m sure you’d find their duties to be things like mowing parks, repairing roads, etc.  Nowhere in their PD will it describe providing fleet management advice. The question is, why do they feel that they need to offer advice on how to run the fleet? • Are they experiencing poor customer service from the fleet department? • Are the ‘turn around times’ for repairs at ...
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Currently, a luxury car tax (LCT) is applied to vehicles priced above $65,094 (plus on-road costs), with the threshold for greener vehicles set at $75,526 (plus on-road costs). There have long been claims that the LCT carries negative impacts by taxing safer and greener vehicles. However, with a free trade agreement being negotiated with Europe, the LCT may disappear. Carsales has reported “The federal government’s negotiations with Europe on a free-trade agreement (FTA) is finally set to dismantle the much-maligned tax on European-built vehicles. According to stakeholders, this will likely lead to the abolition of the circa $600 million annual revenue-raiser ...
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The IPWEA Fleet Achievement Awards sponsored by Repco were announced at the IPWEA Australasian Fleet Conference in May this year. The national winner was Grant Everett from Dubbo Regional Council. FLEET intouch took the opportunity to catch up with Grant (far left in photo) recently, to see what makes an award-winning fleet professional tick. FI: Grant, tell us about your current role.  GE: I am the Fleet Maintenance Supervisor for Dubbo Regional Council, we operate out of two locations and have 13 staff comprising seven mechanics, five apprentices and office administration. Our branch is responsible for the total asset management of the council’s ...
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Is the use of LPG evaporating?

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For a long time, LPG was seen as a clean and cost effective fuel for fleet vehicles and cost conscious mum and dad drivers – but is this changing? According to finder.com.au , there are 35,000 (9.2%) fewer LPG vehicles registered in 2017 compared to 2016 and 146,750 (29.9%) fewer compared to 2012. So, what’s driving this change? ACAPMAg reported back in 2015 that there could be a perfect storm of government policy, manufacturing downturn and increasing sales of diesel commercial vehicles that would impact LPG demand. Beyond this, the price differential that used to make LPG an attractive option is now less clear. RACV notes, “The end of generous government ...
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If you’ve been thinking about attending the IPWEA International Public Works Conference in Perth, but not yet registered, there is still time.  AND, if you need any final convincing, look at this: It’s only held every two years and it’s IPWEA’s premier event 500-plus delegates have already registered – look at the networking you’ll be getting access to. 30-plus international delegates from 10 countries – learn what’s happening overseas Inaugural IPWEA Excellence Awards – see which projects are the best of the best across Australia and New Zealand More than 50 exhibitors – see the latest equipment, products and services to keep you up-to-sped ...
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First published in Fleet Auto News.  By Marc Sibbald  The UK Government has confirmed it will stop the sale of all new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040, in a bid to improve roadside air quality as quickly as possible.  The announcement came is focused on delivering nitrogen dioxide (NO2) compliance at the roadside in the shortest amount of time. Its one part of the government program to deliver clean air – next year the Government will publish a comprehensive Clean Air Strategy which will address other sources of air pollution. Air quality in the UK has been improving significantly in recent decades, with reductions in emissions of ...
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Waste from NSW and Victoria is being transported into Queensland, with operators taking advantage of the state’s tariff-free dumping rules.  File photo.  An investigation by the ABC’s Four Corners program has discovered there is an organised network of waste operators and freight companies transporting up to 1 million tonnes of rubbish each year into Queensland via road and rail. "The joke is, in the waste industry, that Queensland is the dumping capital of Australia," Four Corners reporter Caro Meldrum-Hanna said. "Send your stuff to Queensland: it's dirt cheap, and no one cares." In NSW, the government charges companies $138 per tonne ...
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Public works engineers create the local infrastructure that underpins community wellbeing and social inclusion. But as a large proportion of public works professionals march toward retirement and the industry struggles to attract and retain younger talent, many of these vital public assets may soon be at risk. Public works is among the sectors to be hardest hit by the widespread skills shortage in engineering. While local government experts warn of an unprecedented talent gap over the next decade, investment in public infrastructure across Australia and New Zealand looks set to grow. The Australian Government recently announced an additional $200 million ...
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A 'Give Your Liver Longer' campaign created by Swinburne University student will be introduced in and around the university, after the Communication Design student won a competition to improve community awareness about morning-after drink driving. The campaign aims to debunk common myths about reducing your Blood Alcohol Concentration, give advice on keeping track of the number of standard drinks consumed and provide tips on how to be safer the day after drinking.  Swinburne Communication Design students were tasked with developing a creative campaign about the dangers of driving the morning after drinking heavily. As the winner, Lucy Boehme won $4000 ...
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Thanks to gravity, reservoir towers have traditionally been placed at high points in many council areas. But over the years, other technologies have arrived that also benefit from their infrastructure being located at altitude – mobile phone communications, radio broadcast and emergency services, for example. Piggybacking on the existing water infrastructure is typically more cost-effective for the telecommunication companies (telcos), and avoids the negative community perceptions and concerns around visual amenity that can accompany the construction of new towers. The rapid growth of mobile communications has left many water utilities reeling. ‘Hosting’ ...
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Carolyn Whitzman , University of Melbourne Liveability is an increasingly important goal of Australian planning policy. And creating cities where residents can get to most of the services they need within 20 to 30 minutes has been proposed, at both federal and state level, as a key liveability-related mechanism. The previous federal government’s 2010 National Urban Policy stated: Liveable cities are socially inclusive, affordable, accessible, healthy, safe and resilient to the impacts of climate change … Liveable cities provide choice and opportunity for people to live their lives, and raise their families, to their fullest potential. ...
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We all know how important good asset management is, but achieving it is easier said than done. According to Allen Mapstone, experienced local government engineer and head trainer of IPWEA’s Professional Certificate in Asset Management Planning , there are some common and easily corrected mistakes many organisations make when it comes to asset management and asset management plans. Importantly, Mapstone says many organisations focus on only the technical data, while forgetting to include information about service levels.  “When we raise the subject of asset management, many people have an interpretation of what they think it is or should be,” Mapstone ...
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As an industry, we should be proud of the infrastructure achievements that are recognised as being outstanding. Our communities expect good things from local government, but seldom do we get to hold-up our local projects to our community and say, “Hey, Mrs and Mr Ratepayer, we have been recognised for our outstanding work on this project. This proves that our council really is delivering best-in-class projects for our community." Each IPWEA Division has award categories which applaud excellence from within that Division.  The time has now come when IPWEA should recognise the best-of-the-best; the ultimate accolade of excellence across Australasia. Will ...
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Queensland-based surveying firm All Points Surveys has increased productivity with high speed robotics and cloud-based software. All Points Surveys specialises in residential set out work throughout South East Queensland. Having recently upgraded their robotic total stations to the new Topcon GT series, owner Andrew Corfield says the company has improved the workflow between field and office, saving the team time and money. “We were running older Topcon total stations and took advantage of a recent trade in special from Position Partners (Topcon’s Australian distributor) to upgrade to the latest model,” Mr Corfield said. “The speed of the GT robotic ...
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Have you or a colleague recently developed a road safety treatment or initiative that stands out beyond traditional activities and has delivered improved road safety? If yes, you're eligible to enter the 3M-Australian College of Road Safety (ACRS) Diamond Road Safety Award. Entries are sought from any road safety practitioner who works within the Australian private or public sector. The individual team leader from the winning project will receive a trip to the US to attend the 48th ATSSA annual convention and also visit 3M head office in Minnesota. Be quick! Entries close next Monday, 31 July.  All entries will be judged by an independent committee ...
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