Blogs

Leaders made progress on issues for keeping the Australian economy strong and improving the lives of all Australians at the latest COAG meeting. The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) held its 47th general meeting this month in Cairns – the first held outside a capital city. Below is an extract from the summary of agreements: Boosting the economy COAG agreed to work together to reduce regulatory and bureaucratic barriers across the federation so that businesses can grow and create more jobs. Leaders committed to improving the design and efficiency of business regulation to support jobs and investment in the interests of the community. The Commonwealth’s Deregulation Taskforce will work with state, territory and local governments, and businesses themselves, to identify and address the most significant regulatory barriers to investment for selected industries. Improving population planning and management Australia’s continued economic growth and multicultural richness are ...
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Austroads is investigating national regulations for motorised mobility devices, with a new discussion paper. Following Standards Australia publishing a Technical Specification for motorised wheelchairs and mobility scooters in 2018, Austroads is exploring how this Technical Specification can be implemented to realise its intended safety benefits. Through the discussion paper, Austroads is also addressing recommendations from the 2018 Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport’s Inquiry into the Need for regulation of mobility scooters, also known as motorised wheelchairs . This includes exploration of national licensing and registration arrangements for these devices and their users. The discussion paper seeks feedback on a range of options developed at national stakeholder workshops held in April this year, seeking to ensure the safety of mobility device users. The Technical Specification is currently a voluntary guideline, designed to improve safety. ...
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Local communities are preparing for climate change with actions ranging from information sessions with environmental psychologists, to conducting insurance risk assessments. Taking urgent action on climate change was a key theme of the resolutions passed at the National General Assembly of Local Government in July. Since then, several councils have passed climate change emergency declarations, including the Cities of Melbourne and Sydney. The Australian Local Government Association has updated progress since the conference: New South Wales Ten NSW councils ranging from rural to metropolitan councils have shared in $1.16m worth of grants in the second round of the State Government’s ‘Increasing Resilience to Climate Change’ scheme. “The IRCC grants are being delivered in partnership with Local Government NSW and will range between $30,000 – $120,000 for individual councils to implement specific climate change adaptation and resilience projects,” said Office of Environment and ...
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A policy that may prioritise crops over housing construction is getting attention from New Zealand’s peak local government body. Local Government New Zealand is cautiously assessing implications of the proposed National Position Statement on Highly Productive Land (NPS-HPL), noting that it traverses a number of complex policy areas including housing affordability and property rights. Released by the New Zealand Government in mid-August, the statement is intended to protect agricultural land from development by requiring councils to consider the productive capacity of land in their planning and consenting decisions. LGNZ is the peak body representing New Zealand's 78 local, regional and unitary authorities. It supports the policy’s intent, particularly as it relates to future food security, but notes its potential to conflict with the Government’s urban growth agenda, which is encouraging fast-growing councils to expand home building to tackle the country’s housing affordability ...
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Equity Economics produced new modelling this month to estimate the total costs likely to result from building defects in Australian apartments built in the last ten years. Their calculation of approximately $6.2 billion used publicly available information and conservative costings. Where data was limited, a scope of costs was applied to reflect the high level of uncertainty. The estimated range of between $5.2 and $7.2 billion was averaged by the analysts to reflect the cost to building owners and State, Territory and Federal Governments of addressing the potential structural and safety defects in these buildings. In a statement about their modelling, Equity Economics advised, “this is a conservative estimate that excludes several potential costs including: legal; jurisdiction wide building audit schemes; and increases in insurance. In addition, it excludes the cost of defects for apartments built before 2009. The confidence interval around this estimate reflects that the scale ...
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History has been made deep under the heart of Sydney’s CBD with the first mega tunnel boring machine (TBM) arriving at the new Pitt Street metro railway station. TBM Nancy broke through a wall of rock at the site of the future Pitt Street Station, about 20m below the streets of Sydney. Nancy is one of five TBMs and has tunnelled six kilometres since launching in October at Marrickville. Since then, she has excavated about 600,000 tonnes of rock, or enough to fill 14 Olympic swimming pools. At Pitt Street Station, it has taken nine months to remove about 92,000 tonnes of sandstone to build the underground station cavern in preparation for TBM Nancy’s arrival. The 150-metre-long TBM will undergo maintenance before being re-launched towards the future Sydney Metro station at Martin Place, before moving on to Barangaroo. TBM Mum Shirl is a few hundred metres behind Nancy, building the twin tunnel along the same route. All the crushed rock from Sydney Metro tunnelling will be ...
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All of the sandstone extracted to construct the Sydney Metro tunnels will be reused in building the Western Sydney Airport under an agreement between the Federal and NSW Governments. Trucks will transport more than 500,000 tonnes of sandstone from Metro tunnelling sites at Chatswood and Marrickville to the site of Sydney’s new airport at Badgerys Creek. “The colossal weight of sandstone being reused at Western Sydney Airport is the equivalent to almost two thousand Boeing 787 Dreamliners,” said Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge. “This innovative solution will save taxpayers money and reduce environmental impact through recycling the sandstone for use in the airport’s construction, rather than going to landfill.” The sandstone will be used as a foundation to support the construction of the runway, taxiways and roads on the site of the airport. More than 148,000 tonnes of high-quality sandstone have been transferred to the airport site ...
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This year we welcome Ben Clark as the new YIPWEA Chair, taking the helm from predecessor, Nicole Daaboul. Clark is recently back from the UK where he presented ‘Life-Cycle Optimisation using Asset Genetics in a Digital Revolution,’ with Ashay Prabhu, Director of Assetic, to an international audience at the Institute of Asset Management’s (IAM) annual conference. The three-day event gathered nearly 400 delegates to talk about best asset management case studies in the context of rapid advances in digital technology in the age of asset intelligence. Australia is a leader in public works asset management and Clark is at the forefront. One major takeaway from the conference is the role big data now plays in the way assets provide services to the community. “This is an exciting moment. We are experiencing a significant shift in our ability to consume, translate and use big data. It’s not just information, but the ability to generate wisdom around the way we manage assets,” said Clark. ...
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Input is invited for the next International Infrastructure Management Manual (IIMM) review at a Sydney workshop on 16 September workshop, or you can contribute by written submission. The IIMM is a 50/50 collaboration between NAMS Council (a committee of IPWEA) and NAMS.NZ (a committee of IPWEA NZ). The current publication was last updated in 2015 after the release of the ISO 55000 suite of Asset Management Standards in 2014. The ISO is regarded as the ‘what to do’ and IIMM is the ‘how to do’. “Much has changed since 2015 in the asset management area, particularly in the rapidly changing world of technical matters and the needs of asset managers internationally,” said Murray Erbs, Chair of the NAMS Council. “These changes raise questions as to whether this work is a review, tweak, rewrite or a complete renewal. In broad terms we are seeking input on defining the scope.” it is proposed to hold a workshop in Sydney, Monday, 16 September 2019. The session will include the NAMS ...
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A call for government collaboration and up-skilling of the engineering workforce will be the focus in the IPWEA response to Infrastructure Australia’s 2019 audit. The report by independent government advisor, Infrastructure Australia, has highlighted widespread challenges and opportunities facing the nation’s quality of life and productivity. Its themes reflect the key interests and concerns of IPWEA, which is the peak association for professionals delivering public works and engineering services to communities in Australia and New Zealand. “IPWEA welcomes the national attention Infrastructure Australia has brought to the need for investment and reform in developing and maintaining community assets and in preparing the workforce to meet the evolving requirements of a growing population,” said IPWEA CEO, Cathy Morcom. “IPWEA exists to build professional capacity within industry and the public sector to develop and enhance infrastructure service delivery, whilst endeavouring to balance ...
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IPWEA NZ are honoured to award Gary Boot with the IPWEA NZ President's Award - an award not bestowed easily.  The Chief Executive and staff of Waimakariri District Council presented the Award to Gary last week.  Gary has shone in every area considered for this award, described below. Gary received his Master of Civil Engineering in 1993 from the University of Canterbury.  Upon graduating he was employed by Opus International, followed by several years at Connell Wagner Limited, before taking up his role at Waimakariri District Council in 2002 as the Utilities Manager. During that time he was the recipient of the Maunsell Young Leaders Award 2005, the NZWWA Hynds Best Paper 2006, and the Ingenium Best Technical Presentation 2011. He also received the Engineering NZ Award in April 2018, Chairs Award for Service to the Community. Gary's warm nature, technical excellence, and commitment to communities, epitomises the excellence that the President's Award is intended to acknowledge. ...
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The constantly evolving state and national laws require that I need to stay up-to-date on current legislation. Doing this means I need new and different ways to stay ahead of trends shaping the fleet industry whilst keeping the organisation safe from penalties or something worse for me and the executive team. Thinking positive now! The amount of data available to improve fleet operational efficiency has never been more abundant in the fleet industry. However, as the fleet manager, I need to find ways to leverage this data based on calculated insights being vigilant to protect the welfare of the business, as well as my drivers on the road. Get out of my way! I need to maintain a productive and profitable fleet operation hinged on me being ready, willing and able to communicate effectively with key stakeholders inside and outside of the organisation. I know in our industry there is a lot of operator turnover and I can go a long way towards increasing staff retention by building my ...
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Check out IPWEA's latest FLEET events and plan your year for professional development. Mechanical Maintenance Supervisor Training provides a valuable overview of the key skills and attributes of a Workshop Supervisor. This one-day course delivered by fleet practitioners is essential professional development for any aspiring supervisor, or current supervisors looking to hone their skills. Newcastle NSW - 24 September 2019. On-line Training Live, on-line and interactive Fleet Management Training will commence in September 2019. This training provides participants with essential need-to-know principles and techniques for best practice fleet management. It will provide knowledge that can be applied immediately. 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. If you are involved in the management, maintenance, procurement and end-use of ...
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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 Graham Morris, Manager Fleet Services, Infrastructure Services at City of Greater Geraldton. Graham has recently been appointed to the IPWEA FLEET Council helping to provide guidance in best practice plant and vehicle management and to support the IPWEA Fleet program. FI: How did you get started in fleet and plant, and what was your first job in the industry? GM: I qualified as a heavy-duty mechanic and worked for many years in municipal and long-distance passenger transport. My career with local government in Western Australia started at the City of Stirling. I then managed the fleet at the City of Busselton for ten years, and spent a short time at the Town of Victoria Park. I have been at the City of Greater Geraldton in my present role for the past three years. FI: Tell us about your role and the kind ...
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Providing professional development for the fleet community is a key objective of IPWEA FLEET. We see professional development as critical, not only because it keeps fleet practitioners in the know with up-to-date fleet management and industry knowledge, but also because it means we develop as a profession and an industry. On a personal level, professional development allows time for an individual to invest in themselves and to get away from the daily pressures of work to reflect and consider new ways of doing things. With this in mind, we are now well underway with planning for the 2019 IPWEA Plant and Vehicle Management Workshop series. These workshops have been running for well over a decade and provide a terrific opportunity for professional development, industry updates and networking with others in the industry. Last year we added Newcastle to the list of regional centres and capital cities that host the workshops bringing the total to eight locations along with; Casino, ...
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Written by Caroline Falls and originally posted by Marc Sibbald, Fleet Auto News , August 2, 2019 One of the fantastic stories at the AFMA fleet Management Conference was the one told by GoGet general manager Justin Passaportis, about the car share company’s foundation and trajectory. “What we’re offering here is an alternative to car ownership,” said Passaportis. “We know we need to have our vehicles as close as possible to where people live and work. Each share car takes 10 privately held vehicles off the road.” Passaportis joined GoGet five years ago, from Hertz where he headed fleet operations for carshare. He’s overseen a trebling of GoGet’s fleet and growth of the membership to 35,000. GoGet branched out into share ride bus service Keoride, a collaboration with Keolis Downer and Transport for NSW. Passaportis explained the on-demand bus service and car share services are expanding rapidly. “The user experience is: you go to the app, request a trip, the app aggregates ...
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By Robert Wilson – Manager IPWEA FLEET How well do you know the assets that comprise your fleet? Generally, the first response is “we know our assets very well” – but is this really the case? Inventory management is fundamental to the effective management of the fleet. You must know what you’ve got, where it is and who is responsible for it. Further, there is a base set of data that must be recorded describing the asset and associated attributes. Finance Asset Register or Fleet Asset Register Often management may consider that recording the plant item or vehicle in the financial asset register is sufficient. However, the financial asset register is primarily used for financial accounting and statutory reporting requirements. From a fleet management perspective, we need a management accounting approach. We need to understand the details of the individual assets in the fleet and be able to review and analyses associated cost drivers on an asset, group of assets, business unit, ...
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The IPWEA Magic Tie lives on

For those of you who don’t know the history of the IPWEA ‘magic tie’, it entered IPWEA folklore when it was worn by Kristin McKechie from OPUS International Consultants at the 2005 Adelaide IPWEA International Public Works conference. The tie became notorious as a famous – and valuable – accessory when it was cut in half and returned to one piece on the night, by ‘magic’. Leo Kaloglou, Komatsu Australia GM Mining & Construction, receiving the tie from its previous custodian, Bill Woodcock from Complete Urban The tie made a comeback at the Darwin conference Gala Dinner and it has continued its run as a conference fixture ever since as a charity auction item. The ‘magic tie’ raises funds for IPWEA’s charity RedR, which provides on-the-ground engineers to help communities in war-torn and impoverished countries.  The tie earned trophy status 14 years ago when it was framed for display by its first owners, the Walkom twin brothers, John and Kevin, who are well known in ...
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The Regional Australia Institute (RAI) has called for a new national awareness campaign to promote the opportunities of living in regional Australia and help drive a population shift in coming decades. The recommendation is part of its new report launched on 7 August in Melbourne,  Regional Population Growth: Are We Ready?  – exploring the economic consequences of alternative population scenarios that could alleviate Australia’s megacity future and supercharge regions. The report was launched by Minister for Regional Development, The Hon. Jaclyn Symes, as part of the RAI’s national roadshow,  Regions Rising . RAI co-CEO, Dr Kim Houghton says this new body of work raises serious questions about the type of future Australia has if predicted population growth continues as projected in the outer suburbs of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. “The new research has shown that many workers living in our outer city suburbs could be financially better off if they moved to regional ...
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A new research report by Austroads presents initiatives being implemented by Australian and New Zealand road and transport agencies to deal with growing vehicle congestion in major cities and regional centres. Case Studies of Critical Learnings in Network Operations, Congestion Management Relief Initiatives and Planned Activities  was published on 6 August. “Agencies use a diverse range of treatments and operational improvements to tackle their traffic congestion,” said Richard Delplace, Austroads Network Program Manager and co-author of the report. “Key trends include ’sweating’ existing assets and infrastructure by using technology for real-time network operations, such as smart motorways schemes, and investing in data acquisition, analytics and visualisation to evaluate events and conditions and ultimately design more informed congestion management strategies. There are also operational improvements to how roadworks are planned, authorised and managed to minimise and ...
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