Case study: Proactive park maintenance

By ASSET e-news posted 16 October 2013 18:28

  
Located some 12km north of the City of Adelaide, the suburb of Mawson Lakes was conceived 15 years ago as a joint venture between developer Lend Lease, the City of Salisbury and the South Australian government.
Developed from greenfield sites and fully transferred to the City of Salisbury in 2011, the 620-hectare suburb has 104 parks and reserves, each demanding different categories of work activity. 

To maintain the suburb’s beauty, the City of Salisbury adopted a proactive, rather than reactive, maintenance model. Central to the strategy has been implementation of the AUS-SPEC Maintenance System for Parks and Grounds.

“This system can help councils gain control of their assets with astounding results,” says Rob Bosley, who operates Tendering Specification Systems and who presented a paper at the recent 2013 IPWEA Conference referencing implementation of the system.

“The system meets current legislative requirements for local government asset reporting and generates records of asset inspections, defects, programmed and prioritised works and monthly reports as a condition of contractor payment,” he says. 

“Moreover, it provides default response times and intervention levels for maintenance activities which can be made available for community consultation and edited to balance available funds and community expectations. So it becomes meaningful to the community, showing how their rates are being spent on their assets.”

Another plus for councils using the system is that the AUS-SPEC/NATSPEC update service can flag changes to Australian Standards referenced in the specifications during the maintenance agreement, adds Bosley. GPS mapping and GIS [Geographic Inforamtion System] could also support the system, so that complete records are listed in time and location. 

“This, in turn, enables councils to better scale the level of service for any combination of funding scenarios,” he says. 

Under the City of Salisbury’s system, the council specifies maintenance needs and assesses the quality capability of the contractor. The contractor then controls the processes and methods and verifies conformance. Quality inspection is a separate activity to verify the performance of completed work and the council’s Superintendent audits the maintenance system, methods and final work during the course of the contract.

Highly specified tender documents were issued to ensure bona fide horticultural companies were aware of the complexities of the tendering process and a specific OH&S policy and induction package applied to all contractors.

“This systems approach to maintenance has a capacity to reduce costs and rework, quantify a level of service in reproducible items, and reduce the potential litigation and therefore lower insurance premiums,” Bosley says. “The system has been applied to other developments, both large and small, to achieve cost reduction, an improved risk profile, and better OH&S reporting – along with improved community and staff satisfaction.”

A copy of the full paper presented by Rob Bosley at the 2013 Darwin International Public Works Conference is available here.
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