Asset Management

Community Consultation and CAPEX planning

  • 1.  Community Consultation and CAPEX planning

    Posted 14-01-2016 13:24


    This is probably directed more to those Victorians who are facing the new rate Capping Regime, but as Community Consultation appears to be the "New Black" others may want to comment.

    What part of the business cycle are you doing/planning to do the community consultation (CC) for your CAPEX programs?

    What is the content/aim of your CC for the Reseal program/ Renewal Programs etc? Is it relevant to do CC for these programs?

    In order to vary any rate capping (or satisfy some grant applications) you will need to have done CC, now if you have a five year CAPEX could you get away with only doing the CC every three or four years or for a program none at all?

    My hypothesis is that any CC for the CAPEX should be done prior to the council developing the long term plan and any reviews so that the community concerns then filter into that plan which then creates, through a number of iterations, the CAPEX rather than addressing any specific program through a CC process. The impact of this on an organisation is in order to complete a valid CC work will need to commence some time before the council meet to develop the plan and this could be three to six months prior. The council plan is then developed along with the strategic resources plan (and adjusted LTFP) the CAPEX is then molded to fit those guidelines. Once this is done, scoping of works or final plan delivery will occur moving then into the procurement process and up to the project being delivered. If this process takes longer than six months there is a real chance that CAPEX planned for this year won't get started until next year. Doing a simple time and space exercise we have found that we need to start our procurement process in the previous financial year to when the project is expected to be delivered, without necessarily knowing what budget or grant funding may be available.  Grant funding applications that have to be delivered within the same Financial Year will probably always have to be shovel ready projects sitting on the shelf waiting for such an opportunity, CC already having been completed.

    Are we now at a point where the constraints of a financial year no longer apply? Does a twelve month program require 18 months to plan and deliver? Remember the ideal time to do works is about six months after the start of the financial year! Even if a council did no new works and focused only on renewal any rate increase needed to support that liability will still have to go through a CC process

    Who will conduct the CC?, What Infrastructure involvement should there be?

    Or is this just an over complication of what should be a simple process?

    Ashley Bishop
    Asset Management Officer
    Benalla Rural City Council