Blogs

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 we have started a discussion HERE on shared access way details. We encourage you to get involved and post your comments and opinions or even start your own discussion! - By Clare Hamilton Join the conversation today - or start a new one: Land Development Online Foru
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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 Director, Dr Patrick Hartley, said CSIRO was on a mission to bring together industry, government and other research organisations to fast-track emerging hydrogen technologies. “This isn't limited to the domestic industry development – we'll link Australian expertise with international projects," said Hartley. “The overall focus ...
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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 and odour problems in sewers are most often caused by sulphate-reducing bacteria in sewer biofilms that produce hydrogen sulphide,” Yuan said. “Hydrogen sulphide is released into the atmosphere above the wastewater, causing odour problems, and is converted by sulphide-oxidising bacteria into sulphuric acid, which is corrosive ...
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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 with low vision, blindness or other disabilities to remain confident and independent getting around.” The beacons use an existing phone app, BlindSquare, to provide detailed audio messages with information that is not provided by other map-based tools, such as Google Maps. This includes the location of obstacles, such as bollards, ...
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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 were conducted during the process, in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Almost 400 participants attended the sessions. The strategy positions Victoria to better address the consequences and economic impacts of emergencies. It will guide sector reform to enable state government to improve processes ...
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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 several decades. However, that investment stalled after the 1989 local government reforms, when central government withdrew capital funding for river management and flood protection projects. Communities, largely through regional councils, have continued to invest $200 million a year in these schemes, but without central government ...
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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 infrastructure experience and is a current director of Evans + Ayers. Marion Fulker has a proven track record in infrastructure-related research, as well as being the inaugural chief executive of the Committee for Perth Ltd and an adjunct senior research Fellow at the University of Western Australia. John Fitzgerald is currently ...
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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 hectares in the Maroochy River’s natural floodplain that forms the basis for an Australian-first blue carbon tripartite initiative being led by our council, in collaboration with Unitywater and Department of Environment and Science.  “The acquisition of this site builds on the public land component of the Blue Heart project area ...
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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 compost via councils’ green bin collection and treatment at commercial facilities. Victorian farmers buy the compost to help nourish soils and prevent erosion. World Soils Day was a reminder about the importance of soil health, as its erosion can reduce crop yields by half. When compost is added, nutrients are returned to ...
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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 in her presentation, detailing the things that went well, and not so well during her time as councillor,” said Greskie.  Another presentation was by Alistair Haig, a roadworks practitioner with nearly 40 years on the job to back up his claims. He gave sobering statistics on roadwork crashes and detailed the impacts of the new ...
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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 to extend the reach of the course in Canada. From 2000 to 2015 Champion was CEO of IPWEA after a 30-year local government engineering career. He is an Emeritus Fellow of IPWEA and a Fellow of Engineers Australia. A regular inclusion on Engineers Australia’s Top 100 Most Influential Engineers list since its inception in 2004, ...
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What have we done!?  for you this year... Our focus is support you in achieving excellence in engineering and asset management for sustainable communities.  Below is a list of the work and achievements that have been keeping us busy in 2019: inform... Released our Outcomes Document from the November 2018 NAMS Forum - click here Increase in training offerings and range – increased number of Writing AMPS courses across NZ to assist with Long Term Planning needs. Introduced Microcredentials - Digital Badging – over 120 people enrolled since September. This has been developed from our Fostering our Futures work by Vaughn Crowther. And has been in collaboration and with the support of Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). Built a new RIMS website Road Network Performance Monitoring & Management Guideline has now been released - click here ...
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RIMS to launch Road Network Performance Monitoring and Management Guideline Imagine having to fly an aircraft with no instruments. There is some information we would wish we had at our fingertips! Likewise, managing infrastructure requires complete and accurate information on the full extent of the network, its performance over time and the costs required to maintain and operate it. To this end the New Zealand Road Infrastructure Management Support Group (RIMS) have developed the Road Network Performance Monitoring & Management Guideline. The guideline will assist authorities in better decision making for investment in maintenance programmes through performance monitoring, reporting and management. In striving for greater performance and value for money from their assets, RIMS identified that Road Controlling Authorities (RCAs) were looking for clear guidance on how to undertake performance analysis in a fit for propose manner.  Constraints on maintenance investment funds is ...
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Customer Planning Engineer Wellington Based - Project / Operations Planning – 3 Waters Come and be part of one of the largest Water Utilities in New Zealand. Sitting in the Customer Operations group and part of a team of three Planners, the key purpose of the role is to oversee the planning of maintenance works programmes across your assigned region. This would also include some asset management. It’s an active role and you won’t be desk bound but on-site providing specialist inspections to improve asset and service knowledge, such as asset condition surveys and specialist test reporting. As Wellington Water is owned by the Hutt, Porirua, Upper Hutt, South Wairarapa and Wellington City councils, the Customers Operations group is the first point of contact by clients or customers with any potential issues relating to the water network.  The solution to these issues will be resolved or delivered through Wellington water staff or their civil contracting alliances. Your role would ...
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IPWEA Australian Fleet Conference, 16-18 March 2020, Brisbane Royal International Convention Centre – Sponsorship and trade display packages are still available!  IPWEA’s Australian Fleet Conference keeps growing bigger and better every year and the 4th annual conference with the theme ‘Fleet 2020 and beyond’ is expected to be the best yet. Planning is well advanced and the conference managers are getting tremendous support from sponsors and exhibitors. IPWEA FLEET is proud to announce the following organisations that have already committed to the upcoming conference: Partners Platinum partner – Komatsu Media partner – Fleet Auto News Sponsors Platinum sponsor – Hino Silver sponsor – Isuzu Trucks Premium sponsor – TeltracNavman Bronze sponsor – Plant Assessor Exhibitors Komatsu Hino Isuzu Trucks TeletracNavman Plant Assessor Pickles Auctions Groeneveld Hastings Deering Volvo Ionnic Sponsorship and trade display packages are still available ...
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Check out IPWEA's latest FLEET events and plan your year for professional development. The 2020 IPWEA Australasian Fleet Conference is just around the corner and will be bigger and better than ever. This is your opportunity as a fleet practitioner to understand the unprecedented change and challenges facing the fleet community, network with colleagues and share ideas. The conference will be held at the Royal International Convention Centre in Brisbane from Monday to Wednesday, 16-18 December 2020. Early bird registration is now open. Click here to register online. Fleet Management Certificate . The IPWEA Fleet Management Certificate is a recognised industry qualification addressing key principles and practices to effectively and efficiently manage a fleet. It you are involved in the management, maintenance, procurement and end use of plant, equipment and fleet vehicles, then this self-study course may provide great value to you and your organisation. IPWEA can provide ...
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By Rob Wilson – Director IPWEA FLEET Know when to hold ‘em. During the 2019 Plant and Vehicle Fleet Management Workshop series we were joined by the team from Summit Fleet Leasing and Management (Summit). Summit provided a very interesting and engaging insight into establishing the right time to replace fleet assets. They also had some participants struggling to get the Kenny Rogers song out of their heads! One of the underlying messages was that data is everywhere and drives good decision making. With today’s data capture capability, telematics and analytical tools, very high levels of data are available instantly covering areas such as; vehicle maintenance, driver behaviour, incidents, emissions, fuel consumption and so on. The availability of data can assist to make dynamic replacements decisions. Summit quoted economist.com saying “The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data”. A dynamic approach to asset replacement is important because the reselling ...
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The fleet management industry has such a diverse range of people and roles, and everyone has a unique story of their journey in our industry. This month we talk to Mark Mills, Manager Fleet and Logistics Services – Sutherland Shire Council. Mark is also a member of the IPWEA FLEET Council. FI: How did you get started in fleet and plant, and what was your first job in the industry? MM : My first exposure to fleet and plant management principles and methodologies was through my new role as a Fleet Coordinator with Wollongong City Council back in the early 90s. I was fortunate enough to have had an exceptional mentor, who had substantial experience in an asset management background. My first job in the industry was an apprentice mechanic in small team of three, working on a diverse range of light and heavy vehicles. FI: Tell us about your role and the kind of fleet and plant you manage. MM : As Manager of the Fleet and Logistics Services unit, I am accountable for ...
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Why don't we pay more attention to the appearance of fleet assets in PMs?  Although the physical appearance of our fleet assets does not tend to have a direct effect on reliability, it’s worth noting that the one factor that will have the most effect on the ratepayers', public or customers' opinion of fleet assets is their physical appearance. It’s not only the public we should be concerned about; there’s also the effect on resale value, operator’s perception of the equipment and in the eyes of senior management, and how well the fleet department is performing. Dents and scratches often lead to rust, and rust often leads to a question mark over the roadworthiness of fleet assets, particularly on-road assets. And, don’t look past the fact that a machine that is covered in dirt, mud and grease can hide the tell-tale signs of an impending maintenance failure. Add the general cleaning of vehicles and plant into your service level agreements and make sure the operators/drivers clean ...
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Ask-Your-Mates (FAQ)

​The following interaction was extracted from the Ask Your Mates Open Forum for Fleet & Plant Management. Question on Roadside Slasher s: Hello Everyone, Wondering what brand and model of road side slasher everyone might be using. Looking for a slasher to replace a heavy duty Superior 7ft (2100mm) slasher. Any info, thoughts or feedback good or bad would be appreciated. Regards Peter Heath Workshop Supervisor Somerset Regional Council   Responses: Good Morning Peter, Shire of Esperance recently purchased ​a Kanga KSHR210 with upgraded gearbox linkage, Clutch Upgrade and cutter bar upgraded. Pricing was good (Sub 10K), spare parts good - Victorian based.  Has good references from local contractors. We are happy so far. Replaced a Howard EDH 210 for which parts were getting harder to source. Paul Farmilo Technical Officer - Fleet Shire of Esperance   ------------------------------   Hi Peter, Here at Lockyer Valley Regional ...
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