By David Jenkins
The $1.8 billion funding boost for local government road and community projects announced recently is an effective way to accelerate delivery of much-needed infrastructure to regional Australia.
Of the three levels of government in Australia, it is local government that is closest to our communities and best-placed to understand local project needs and priorities. However, there remains a balance between building new infrastructure in response to changing circumstances and ensuring existing built assets are ready for tomorrow’s challenges.
Maintaining currency and confidence in infrastructure planning is a key focus of IPWEA. Steve Verity, Principal Advisor Asset Management at IPWEA, thinks it is time for government intervention to secure against risk, and for asset-intensive entities, particularly local government, to ensure major decisions on infrastructure investment consider whole-of-life cost, risk and service impacts.
“Given the pace of change, it is imperative we have the right infrastructure for today and tomorrow’s world, and it is incumbent on our leaders to ensure the plans we produce are reliable and regularly reviewed in response to changing circumstances to ensure we have the right infrastructure for the future,” he says.
Most Australian states and territories mandate asset management plans for local government, however very few ensure programs are aligned to an affordable long-term financial plan. Without audit and follow up, asset custodians tend to treat asset management planning as an optional process, resulting in less than effective outcomes for our communities. Making it compulsory sends the right message of importance.
To build your asset management planning foundation, I recommend registering for the upcoming Asset Management Webinar Series in your jurisdiction. The series will articulate how best to apply the core principles of asset and financial planning and reporting to demonstrate the sustainable management of infrastructure. The three-part series delivered online is a stepping-stone to our international renowned Professional Certificate in Asset Management Planning.
Further details on the Asset Management Community can be found at: https://www.ipwea.org/communities/assetmanagement