IPWEA Blogs

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The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced $18 million in recoupable grant funding to develop Australia’s second large scale energy-from-waste plant in Western Australia. The $511 million plant will be located in the Rockingham Industrial Zone, 40km south of Perth where it will reduce waste currently going to landfill and generate dispatchable electricity for the grid. The East Rockingham Resource Recovery Facility is expected to process approximately 300,000 tonnes per year of residual waste from non-recyclable materials in the Perth metropolitan area to deliver 29 MW of baseload electricity capacity, enough to power more than 36,000 ...
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The Museum of Science, Boston and its EiE team have entered a licensing partnership with Australia's National Science and Technology Centre, Questacon to introduce Engineering is Elementary to primary school teachers across Australia. Peter Junk, Professor of Chemistry at JCU, will lead the study, which is funded by a $420,000 Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant. The program will be rolled out in  Australia  over the next three years through Questacon, supported by investment from The Australian Defence Force. Questacon will deliver professional development workshops and resource kits to 1000 primary school teachers from up to ...
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James Cook University researchers will investigate a new way of preventing corrosion to better protect steel used in everything from car radiators to billion-dollar pipelines. Peter Junk, Professor of Chemistry at JCU, will lead the study, which is funded by a $420,000 Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant. He says corrosion of steel infrastructure, found in bridges, water cooling towers, car radiators, oil and gas pipelines and in shipping and aviation, is a persistent and expensive problem that’s likely to worsen under projected climate change scenarios. “Corrosion costs the world around $US4 trillion annually, more importantly ...
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MidCoast Council in NSW is accelerating development of a temporary desalination plant at the Nabiac Aquifer water supply plant to provide emergency water to its community, which is at Level 4 water restrictions. The plant could be operating in two months. “We’ve made the decision to ensure water security for the Manning - Great Lakes scheme, which supplies 90 per cent of our water users,” said Council’s Director of Infrastructure and Engineering Services, Rob Scott on January 6. “We are currently seeking approvals from the NSW Government to proceed with a desalination plant, accessing the $1 million grant to kick start the project.” “This amount of construction ...
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Austroads has released a 10-Part Guide to Temporary Traffic Management to improve the safety and efficiency of temporary traffic management on road worksites across Australia and New Zealand. It is estimated that around 250,000 people and more than 800 companies provide temporary traffic management services in Australia alone. Temporary traffic management creates safe work areas for construction, maintenance and other activities occuring on or near a road. Safety is most commonly achieved by using traffic control devices like signs, signals, pavement markings, traffic islands, or other devices installed with the approval of a road agency. Austroads’ ...
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A new council building in the Eurobodalla Shire is still standing despite the intense fires that surrounded it at new year, thanks to construction standards talking into account its bushland location.  Bushfire has devastated large parts of Eurobodalla in southern NSW, including in and around Mogo. Although fire swept through the Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Garden at the peak of the crisis, the most recently constructed and renovated building survived intact. The new building – including visitor centre, herbarium, café and education hub – was constructed to high fire standards, using selected hardwoods, with these conditions in mind. It was handed over ...
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Warren Sharpe OAM is IPWEA NSW President and Eurobodalla Director Infrastructure Services, and Local Emergency Management Officer. He is working on the ground at one of the worst bushfire affected regions in the country. Below is Warren's message to members and colleagues, with personal and professional insight about the emergency's continuing impact on his community. In the face of on-going drought and the NSW fires, IPWEA NSW members have risen to the enormous challenges to help respond to this national scale natural disaster. We congratulate all who have given so much to help their communities during this traumatic period. We always knew the IPWEA ...
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Australia has been devastated by the January bushfires that continue to make global news, months after the crisis began. IPWEA’s Director of Strategic Asset Management, Allen Mapstone gives a personal account for InTouch of his family’s frightening evacuation from the NSW south coast: I have lived most of my life in the southern suburbs of Sydney. Even so, I have been touched by bushfires in the past because from where I lived, I could see fires on the horizon go through the Royal National Park during the worst summer bushfire seasons. I watched Grays Point burn in 1983, taking the lives of three volunteer firefighters. In 1994 a friend lost their house in ...
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8 January 2020 As the unimaginable scale of the Australian bushfires continues its devastating impact, the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia recognises the professional implications for many of its members and their colleagues, as their focus turns to supporting their communities throughout the ongoing crisis and, once the danger has passed, to taking the lead on the recovery process. As the crisis continues and emergency and recovery plans are activated in volatile conditions, IPWEA sends a message of connection and support to its members and all others affected by the fires’ destruction. “There is no doubt many of our members have been ...
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The Land Development Engineering Group (LDEG) is passionate about bringing together Land Development Engineers (LDEs) across New Zealand. We seek to do this by providing opportunities to network and collaborate with peers. As a committee we would like to draw your attention to our online forum where you can post ideas, seek guidance or start a lively discussion. It is important to connect with and support those who are within our industry and our online forum provides a means to do this. Across the country LDEs are up against the same challenges and it is a missed opportunity if we don’t share our experiences with each other. To get the conversation going ...
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​The CSIRO has mapped the critical research steps Australia must take to realise a potential 7600 jobs and $11 billion a year by 2050 from the hydrogen industry. The report found investing in research could solve industry challenges to create five key national opportunities: hydrogen exports; integration of hydrogen into gas networks; transport; electricity systems; and industrial processes. Australia’s current hydrogen research footprint includes 23 institutions actively exploring hydrogen in various technology and research areas, as well as another 23 hydrogen-specific demonstration projects and research facilities around Australia. CSIRO Research ...
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​University of Queensland monitoring technology to identify potential odour and corrosion hotspots in urban sewerage networks has been adopted by ASX-listed environmental management technology firm Envirosuite. The SeweX innovation uses mathematical modelling to predict odour and corrosion hotspots and optimise mitigation strategies in sewer mains. It was developed by researchers from UQ’s Advanced Water Management Centre (AWMC). UQ’s technology transfer company UniQuest negotiated a licence agreement with Envirosuite. AWMC Director, Professor Zhiguo Yuan, said the technology was developed in response to needs identified by the water industry. “Corrosion ...
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​New beacons along Melbourne’s Bourke and Swanston streets will send audio messages about potential obstacles to users’ phones, to help people with low vision or blindness get around the city. The City of Melbourne commissioned Guide Dogs Victoria to develop a program using a phone app to provide information about intersections, construction and public transport. “Accessibility is an important part of everything we do at the City of Melbourne, including helping people find their way around our city,” said Councillor Beverley Pinder, Chair of the People City portfolio. “Melbourne is growing and as our city changes it’s vital that we support people living ...
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​Victoria’s emergency management sector has presented the results of its efforts to build more meaningful community involvement, more effective partnerships and stronger recovery arrangements. The Resilient Recovery Strategy   is the result of a series of reviews, enquiries and reports focussing on Victoria’s recovery systems, and collaboration between community and recovery practitioners, including state government departments and agencies, municipal councils, NGO’s, communities and community organisations, individuals and the private sector. The strategy was developed through consultation at local, regional and state levels. Eight regional workshops ...
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​After a weekend of severe storms resulting in heavy floods and landslides that have left an estimate 1000 tourists stranded on New Zealand’s South Island, the peak local government body has called for urgent asset investment. Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) says the flood damage of this week highlights the urgent need for councils and central government to prioritise investment in New Zealand’s river management and flood protection schemes. Research commissioned by LGNZ’s Regional Sector showed successive investments in river management and flood control assets, such as stop banks and weirs, had unlocked billions of dollars in economic value over ...
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Infrastructure Australia has welcomed the Australian Government’s appointment of four new members to its Board. Mark Balnaves, Marion Fulker, John Fitzgerald and Graham Quirk begin their tenures at the independent advisory body this month, led by Infrastructure Australia Chair Julieanne Alroe. Ms Alroe said, “All four individuals bring decades of infrastructure experience and each will add to the depth and breadth of sectoral knowledge and proficiency of the Board.” Mark Balnaves, having previously advised on a number of major projects around Australia including the new Royal Adelaide Hospital, has more than 20 years of director, strategic advisory and ...
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Almost 14 hectares was added to Sunshine Coast Council’s conservation estate last week, with a land acquisition at Bli Bli made from the community’s environment levy funds. Mayor Mark Jamieson said one of the important aspects of the levy is the ability to acquire land with important ecological and habitat values, to be preserved for current and future generations.  “The Maroochy River Environment Reserve contains three different vegetation types, protects important riparian habitats and is home to five mangrove species, some of which may be up to 200 years old,” Mayor Jamieson said.  “It is also located within the Blue Heart, an area of more than 5,000 ...
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Pledge to cut green bin contamination

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​ To mark World Soils Day on 5 December, Victorian industry, councils and government renewed their commitment to working with the community to reduce household green bin contamination.  Victorian councils are signing up to the Back to Earth Initiative, which works with industry to promote food and green waste recycling and educates households about what can go in their green bin. Victorians recycle more than 400,000 tonnes of food and green waste annually, and it’s important that plastic, glass and other rubbish is kept out of the mix. The new awareness campaign promotes the ways household food and garden waste is turned into valuable ...
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​ Fortunate timing allowed the IPWEA Australasian President, Mat Greskie, to attend a training and networking day delivered by IPWEA Otago Southland in November.    Mr Greskie said the event was well-attended by local IPWEA members and described the presentations as “very diverse and highly interesting”.  Alexa Forbes, who recently concluded her second term as a councillor at Queenstown Lakes District Council, provided insight to the challenges of the role. As a communications professional, she was able to offer many ways in which elected members and staff could improve the way they interact and support each other.  “She was very candid ...
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The Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia congratulates Chris Champion on his election to National President and Board Chair of Engineers Australia in 2020. Champion is Director International of IPWEA and has been Chair of NAMS Canada Inc, for the five years since its establishment. NAMS Canada is an affiliate not-for-profit company of IPWEA which has taken IPWEA’s training and other resources to North America. The IPWEA Professional Certificate in Asset Management Planning has been strongly supported by the Canadian Federal Government. More than 2000 municipal staff have undertaken the online course. The next program will be delivered in French ...
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