IPWEA Blogs

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When asked about the performance of Topcon’s new HiPer HR, Survey Manager for Survey Management Solutions’(SMS) Western region, Dean Ramsay said: “It’s definitely the best we’ve ever had. It locks on faster, it tracks satellites a lot faster and overall it’s a really quick and easy to use instrument.” Used predominantly for subdivision set out and grade checks, SMS uses 18 Topcon HiPer HRs across its Western, Northern and Eastern regions of Melbourne. The company upgraded all of its older RTK GPS systems simultaneously to stay abreast of the latest technology developments. “As a company we pride ourselves on keeping ahead of the industry with modern technology ...
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IPWEA’s conferences, whether presented by Australasia or each of our Divisions, offer real value for money. We keep the registrations prices low (considerably lower than commercial conference organisers) and we provide top expert speakers who really know their topics. We’ve all experienced commercial conference organisers spamming us with their ‘must attend’ spiels. But what do they put back into the industry? What support does the industry get from these commercial operators? Their objective is simply to extract a profit out of our industry.   IPWEA’s conferences are always focussed on providing best value, practical and expert speakers: plus, any conference ...
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At the recent International Public Works Conference (IPWC) in Perth one of the top prizes given away was a two-year subscription to Buildings.PLUS worth up to $8000*.  The council that won the prize on the day has advised that as they are a very small council, they do not have the internal resources to be able to load the data and get all the benefits of the Buildings.PLUS package. They also don't want to deny another council the opportunity to get the benefit of this great give away.     As a thank you to everyone who attended the 2017 IPWC, we are giving all delegates who attended the conference a second chance draw to win the two-year, no strings attached ...
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This story was first published in the July/August edition of inspire magazine.  By Rumer-Grace Archer, Opus International Consultants.  Avalon Park’s transformation story began in 2009, when the proposed demolition of the existing derelict timber fort triggered community uproar. The iconic structure, which stood on a concrete peninsula in a duck pond, had been popular with local children for thirty years despite its degraded condition and incompatibility with modern health and safety standards. The community’s reaction sparked the beginning of a partnership between Hutt City Council and Opus International Consultants to revive the park and create ...
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It may seem contrary to conventional wisdom, but councils are being encouraged to introduce risk into their community playgrounds. Numerous studies have shown that engaging in play with an appropriate level of risk helps children become more active, develops their social and risk management skills and increases their resilience and self-confidence.  One of the latest studies in this body of work is from the University of Newcastle. Working with children between the ages of two and five in a year-long study, risks such as high climbing apparatus were introduced.   The researchers observed that children displayed an increased ability to judge risk, results ...
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Madeleine De Gabriele , The Conversation ; Michael Hopkin , The Conversation , and Wes Mountain , The Conversation The federal government has announced its long-awaited energy policy. As expected it has scrapped the Clean Energy Target proposed by Chief Scientist Alan Finkel, and has instead adopted a National Energy Guarantee , which focuses on ensuring electricity supply and putting downward pressure on energy prices. Here’s what you need to know:   Read more: How the National Energy Guarantee could work better than a clean energy target The Conversation , CC BY-ND Madeleine De Gabriele , Deputy ...
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Researchers from the University of British Columbia have developed seismic-resistant, fibre-reinforced concrete. The material, called eco-friendly ductile cementitious composite (EDCC), is engineered at the molecular scale to be strong, malleable, and ductile, similar to steel. Researchers say just a thin coating of EDCC is capable of dramatically enhancing the earthquake resistance of a seismically vulnerable structure. They put the material through its paces in earthquake simulation tests, using intensities as high as the magnitude 9.0–9.1 earthquake that struck Tohoku, Japan in 2011. “We sprayed a number of walls with a 10mm-thick layer of EDCC, ...
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An urban greening project across six councils in Melbourne’s west has successfully reshaped the area’s tree cover, a study has found. The RMIT University study examined Melbourne’s Greening the West program, which has seen almost one million trees planted across Brimbank, Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Melton, Moonee Valley, Wyndham and surrounds since its inception in 2011. Lead researcher, Dr Casey Furlong from RMIT’s Centre for Urban Research, said that the program, initiated by City West Water, has helped even the playing field for residents living to the west of Melbourne. “Melbourne’s western suburbs currently have tree canopy coverage of only 5 to ...
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By Caroline Boot, Clever Buying and Kerrie McEwen, Plan A Tender Specialists. With every infrastructure dollar stretched to the limit, clients are taking a long, hard look at their procurement processes. While debate rages around ideal delivery mechanisms and complex contractual structures, some organisations are focusing on the basics. • How well do our procurement processes identify and select the best value for money options? • Is the process of seeking and evaluating tenders efficient? • What can we learn from other assessment and evaluation models in the public sector?”  The words at the start of this article were written five years ago (and are ...
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A stockpile of approximately one million tyres has been removed from a Victorian site at a cost of about $5 million. Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) CEO Nial Finegan said 9500 tonnes of tyres and shred had been removed from the Stawell site, after repeated failure by the site’s owners to comply with orders to reduce the risk of fire at the site. “On 2 August 2017, it was decided that little to no effort had been made by the stockpile’s owner to comply with a Country Fire Authority Fire Prevention Notice or any of three EPA notices issued on the site that required the owner to reduce the risk of fire at the site and to segregate tyres into ...
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Billie Giles-Corti , RMIT University and Jonathan Arundel , RMIT University This article is one in a series, Healthy Liveable Cities , in the lead-up to the Designing Healthy Liveable Cities Conference in Melbourne on October 19 and 20. We know what makes for healthy and liveable communities , which in turn produces massive payoffs. But we often lack comprehensive policies and frameworks to deliver on the promise. In producing Australia’s first baseline measure of liveability across our capital cities, we found none of them perform well across all the key indicators. Our report considers seven domains of a city’s liveability that ...
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This story was first published in Fleet Auto News.  By David Brown  The Australian New Car Assessment Program rates the crash performance of news cars on a one to five scale. But the requirements to meet each rating level have increased and will continue to do so into the future. So, a car that has achieved a five star rating this year is likely to have more safety features and perform better in a range of crash scenarios than many previous models. New cars are not tested every year but only when there is a significant upgrade. This means that you may buy a new car that has a five-star rating because it was tested several years ago and may not perform ...
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Described as New Zealand's first heavy equipment playground, a digger-based theme park has opened in Invercargill.   At the one-hectare site, customers are offered the opportunity to operate bulldozers, skid steers and excavators weighing up to 15 tonnes.  Instructors – communicating through headsets – are on hand to give advice to customers as they drive, and are also able to activate a kill switch on the vehicles if anything starts to go wrong.  Read the full story here
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Lifelong learning and continuous professional development are part of the corporate lexicon – and for good reason. If we don’t keep up with trends and development in our industry we fall behind. Beyond that, there is a satisfaction that comes from being informed and engaged in our vocation. Training and professional development are core parts of IPWEA’s mission and we always look at how we can meet the needs of the industry. This year’s series of Plant and Vehicle Management one-day workshops is no different. The program has been specifically designed to cover topics of critical importance to fleet practitioners including; Chain of Responsibility reform, ...
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Do your cleaning products go missing? Why is it that whenever the fleet department provides cleaning products, such as truck wash, sponges, chamois etc, at the wash bay these dingbats steal them? They won’t clean their truck, plant or equipment during the hours they get paid for but will knock off the equipment every chance they get. How about the depot that emptied a 200 litre drum of truck wash a month – the ridiculous thing was that there was only four truck and dogs based at the depot and all of them were dirty! It seems to be a national sport to see who can win the gold medal in stealing stuff and I will bet my bottom dollar that they don’t use the ...
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First published in Fleet Auto News.  The Metropolitan Police Service is helping reduce harmful emissions in London’s air by launching a trial to test hydrogen powered scooters. In line with the Mayor of London’s work to tackle London’s toxic air, the Met’s fleet services will, from September, trial seven Suzuki ‘Burgman Fuel Cell’, zero emission hydrogen scooters as part of their operational capability. The trial will last for 18 months and will enable them to assess their suitability for the various roles the scooters could perform. On a broader scale, it will help them to understand where this clean technology could be adopted across the fleet in ...
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By Ross Moody, FLEET Director An aim of asset management planning for fleet is to align resource allocation on providing, operating and maintaining fleet assets in line with the needs of the customer in terms of reliability and safety considerations. This is termed 'level of service'. What is the customer’s expectation for a fleet asset? An example in fleet is the customer does not want the machine/vehicle to break down on the job. In terms of providing a reliable service, it is important to know when it is appropriate to carry out maintenance or replace a machine before it gets to the point of failure and potentially causing major operational problems. ...
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This story was first published in the July/August edition of inspire magazine.   Three years ago, Ku-ring-gai Council signed up for an IPWEA Buildings.PLUS subscription. The decision was a proactive effort to improve the way building assets were managed. “The council lacked asset knowledge of its buildings and generally worked reactively when components failed,” Andrew Heathcote, Building Asset Coordinator for Ku-ring-gai Council explains. “We had no catalogue of the conditions of our components or the number of plant and equipment supporting the site, nor were we able to update and record on those components that had been either renewed or upgraded. ...
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In the aftermath of this week’s senseless shooting of innocent, concert-loving people in Las Vegas, some of the Australian media are canvassing for ‘quick fixes’ and ‘lessons learned for Australia.’   As overseers of many large gatherings of ordinary citizens, governments at all levels should not succumb to overly restrictive new measures that further reign-in the freedom loving and outdoors which is so ingrained in the Aussie and Kiwi way of life.  Already the installation of unsightly concrete bollards, reminiscent of war-time tank traps, which have been springing up around some of our capital cities, is detracting from the civic amenity and sense of place ...
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A new report has highlighted the varying roles and levels of engagement that councils play in regards to leadership, organisation and delivery of local and regional economic development in Australia. According to the University of Technology Sydney’s Centre for Local Government (UTS CLG) report, the promotion of economic development is a relatively recent feature of the activity of local government in Australia. “The principle that economic development is a co-responsibility tends to be accepted by all tiers of governments and social and economic actors. However, how this translates into practice remains ambiguous and contested,” says Professor Lee Pugalis, ...
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