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Invitation to join pilot trial of Infrastructure Sustainability Rating Tool

  • 1.  Invitation to join pilot trial of Infrastructure Sustainability Rating Tool

    Posted 08 November 2012 07:34
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    IPWEA Call for Councils to join Pilot Trial of Infrastructure Sustainability Rating Tool

    How sustainable is your Council's road maintenance program?
    How could it be made more sustainable?
    How does it rate on sustainability with those of other councils?

    Get answers to these questions, and more, by nominating your council to participate in the pilot application of the Australian Green Infrastructure Council's (AGIC) Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) Rating Tool to council road maintenance programs.

    This project is being managed by the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia (IPWEA), in partnership with AGIC and the Australian Centre for Excellence in Local Government (ACELG).

    For many local councils roads are their largest asset class, and road maintenance is their largest operational activity.  84% of all roads by length are maintained by Australia's 560 local councils. Their total value exceeds $300 Billion. So, cumulatively, even small improvements in the sustainability of council road maintenance programs can result in enormous benefits.

    Participation in the pilot applications will be at no cost to the selected councils.

    The two or three councils selected to participate will nominate an experienced engineer or technical staff member to undertake the pilot application with hands-on support from the IPWEA's National Director Sustainability (Dr Stephen Lees), who will work in Council's office alongside Council's engineer during the pilot application. About five day's work in the council offices is anticipated, spread over four to six weeks.

    Access to relevant Council data will be required to evidence the assessment ratings. All Australian local councils are invited to nominate to participate.  Councils will be selected in December 2012. The pilot application will commence in early 2013, with an interim report in May.


    Apply by email to the IPWEA's National Director Sustainability at briefly addressing each of the four selection criteria in the attached Project Prospectus. 

    Applications should be received by Monday 19 November 2012.

    Inquiries and nominations to Stephen Lees on 0412 264 187 or

    Chris Champion
    Sydney NSW


  • 2.  RE:Invitation to join pilot trial of Infrastructure Sustainability Rating Tool

    Posted 12 November 2012 03:32
    Looks like a good initiative and I was keen to get involved until I realised the prospectus was talking about "Environmental" Sustainability.
    We need to be careful here in hwo we define "sustainability".
    I have this as a continuing problem in talking about Asset Management Sustainability with executives and Councillors (and in fact all staff not in asset management).

    When we look at sustainability in Asset Management we are concerned with Council financial sustainability - can the council(s) continue to deliver the services that the community expects (over the longer term) - and not go broke in the mean time.
    Environmental Sustainability is very important, but is not the focus of Asset Management. We do need to be aware of the environment and do whatever we can (in asset managemnt) to consider and keep it in good order (for future generations) but this is a different discipline (and a little more asseteric) than sustainable services to the community.

    We need to have clear definitions for asset management, particularly about "sustainability" and what it means in the asset management context.
    Let's not get the two areas (environmental and council financial viability) confused, asset management can be confusing enough in its own right!


    Darron Passlow
    Asset Management
    Pittwater Council


    [CEO Note: Hi Darron, I agree that you can look at 'sustainability' from a number of perspectives. IPWEA is keen to not restrict itself to just looking at sustainability from a financial 'asset management' view but also a wider environmental view also.

    Looking at the detail, AGIC's IS sustainability rating tool is not just about the  environment. The rating tool considers various sustainability themes and categories. Some of these are environmental focussed, but Management & Governance, People & Place and Innovation are more about the social and economic dimensions of sustainability. (The widely adopted three pillars of sustainability are  social , economic & environmental - the 'triple bottom line').

    It is true that the IS rating tool presently does not have an economic theme - I understand due to a lack of funds to develop one. But the prospectus states that AGIC intends to add to its rating tool an Economic theme and a Workforce theme.

    Asset management can be a very useful tool to take into account the wider risks of climate change, and environment (or social) impacts. We are keen to explore all perspectives to see what we can learn and how we can better manage our community infrastructure from these wider perspectives. I'd encourage people to consider being part of our trial.

    Chris Champion