NAMS Canada User Group Community Blog

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The threat of rising sea levels is becoming front of mind for coastal communities around Australia and New Zealand, with a new report on the impact to local government infrastructure revealing alarming figures.  The Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) report revealed the potential devastation rising sea levels could create. Released in late January, Vulnerable: The quantum of local government infrastructure exposed to sea level rise found as much as $14 billion of local government infrastructure could be at risk.   The research, developed in conjunction with environmental and engineering consultancy Tonkin + Taylor, modelled various sea level rise scenarios ...
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In a recent interview I did with Victorian Chief Engineer Collette Burke, there was a common thread throughout the conversation: the need for greater knowledge sharing within the industry.  In every corner of Australia, New Zealand and beyond, public works professionals are doing great things. It's a fact: when it's your job to dream, deliver and maintain the infrastructure that powers our growing communities, innovation is not just a nice buzzword – it's an essential part of the profession.  Every week, I have the privilege of speaking to a handful of professionals who are trying new things, finding new ways to get the job done with limited resources, navigating ...
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Piloted in 2018, IPWEA Victoria’s annual Summer Asset Management Intensive (SAMI) is presented in collaboration with IPWEA Australasia and has been supported by 11 councils keen to develop their asset management capability.  The Class of SAMI 19 on the steps of Geelong City Hall this week with staff from the Cities of Greater Geelong, Bendigo, Melton and Maribyrnong. The three-day program covers the why, what and how of best-practice asset management and pre-empts the anticipated requirements of Victoria’s reformed Local Government Act for integrated community engagement, asset management and long-term financial plans. Presented by independent ...
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The EPA has banned two major Melbourne recycling plants from receiving materials, forcing a number of councils to divert kerbside recycling to landfill.  Following an EPA inspection that allegedly identified a number of stockpile issues, recycler SKM Services has been banned from accepting recyclable waste materials at its Coolaroo and Laverton North sites. Those two sites, together with a third, account for 50% of Victoria’s kerbside recycling. EPA Chief Executive Cathy Wilkinson said the large plastic stockpiles at the facilities posed a real fire risk to local communities. "EPA has determined that SKM has not taken reasonable steps to manage and store ...
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By Rob Wilson, Manager IPWEA FLEET  First of all, fleets are valuable assets in their own right – the cost of holding and operating a fleet can account for a significant part of an organisation’s budget. Secondly, the fleet can have a direct impact on operational effectiveness and service delivery. A fleet that is fit-for-purpose, safe and reliable supports effective operations and the delivery of corporate goals. Fleets that are not suited to the task or are not well-maintained carry risks through potential injury to workers and others, lost productivity and higher whole-of-life costs. Finally, there are specific legislative obligations on the operators ...
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Trevor Thornton , Deakin University Over the weekend, Victoria’s Environment Protection Authority issued notices for a major recycling company to stop receiving waste at two of its sites. While the full consequences of these notices are yet to be realised, in the short term this means at least one council will have to dump kerbside recycling in landfill . This isn’t a new problem. It’s a result of China’s decision to stop accepting Australia’s recyclables, and a clear sign we’ve been playing catch-up but not focusing on sustainable solutions. We need to work out how to deal with recycling in Australia – and determine how much it will cost, ...
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We all know how important good asset management is, but achieving it is easier said than done. According to Allen Mapstone, IPWEA's Director Strategic Asset Management and head trainer of the IPWEA Professional Certificate in Asset Management Planning, there are some common and easily corrected mistakes many organisations make when it comes to asset management and asset management plans.  Importantly, Mapstone says many organisations focus on only the technical data, while forgetting to include information about service levels.  “When we raise the subject of asset management, many people have an interpretation of what they think it is or should be,” Mapstone ...
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Boral has unveiled the world’s first forward moving aggregate spreader, which promises to be safer, more efficient and deliver a better final product. The first-of-its-kind design does away with the need for road crews to work alongside reversing trucks that apply aggregate through an elevated tipper body. Instead, to improve safety and maximise visibility, the Boral front moving aggregate spreader (FMAS) disperses aggregate from the front of the truck via a conveyor belt and spreader box. Boral says the FMAS will allow for faster completion of works, while significantly reducing the risk of damage to overhead objects such as contacting power lines, trees ...
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It could be argued that few people have more reason to take illumination seriously than the Finns. In the depths of their icy winter months, the communities to the country’s north live in almost complete darkness some days of the year. That’s why it’s so surprising that more cities haven’t followed the City of Helsinki’s example and installed human-centric lighting. In fact, it’s believed to be the first installation of its type in the world. Olli Markkanen, the City’s Head of Municipal Engineering, says the idea for ‘human-centric lighting’ came from a competition to design the general lighting in a new city district, located on the site of a former oil ...
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Councils and road authorities have found themselves caught in the middle of a debate about the detrimental effects LED street lighting could have to human health and the environment. While many councils and road authorities are rightly choosing to embrace the energy savings and greenhouse gas reductions that large-scale LED roll-outs promise, news reports have emerged in recent years – some legitimate, many less so – about the potentially harmful effects of the blue wavelengths typical of broad-spectrum or ‘white light’ products like LEDs. Stoked by the American Medical Association’s adoption of new guidelines in 2016 that warn against the use of broad-spectrum ...
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By Tom Simonson, Principal Regulatory Advisor, LGNZ. Roughly two-thirds (65 per cent) of New Zealanders live within five kilometres of the sea, so sea level rise is a major issue for us.  Councils recognise that communities’ resilience to climate change depends in large part on what we are doing to adapt to sea level rise.  To create greater clarity on this subject, on 31 January LGNZ released its report Vulnerable: The quantum of local government infrastructure exposed to sea level rise .   Until now, councils have not had accurate information on the type, amount and replacement value of their infrastructure exposed to sea level rise, and therefore ...
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With the boost in major infrastructure projects being undertaken across Australia, there is even more need for increased capability and knowledge in the work environment.   Significant infrastructure projects are being built or planned across Australia. These projects, in addition to routine and periodic maintenance, offer tremendous opportunities for skilled individuals in the key technical areas associated with the design, construction and maintenance of road pavements and major infrastructure assets. In short, the need for increased capability in the work environment means that education and training can lead to advancement opportunities for road pavement ...
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Whether you’re making purchasing decisions for a project or buying a new car, reviews are often a consumer’s best friend. Honest feedback from your peers about what has and hasn’t worked for them can clearly demonstrate whether a product or service is the right fit for you and your organisation. The same can be said for training and professional development – was the method of delivery convenient? Were the instructors knowledgeable? Did you achieve your learning outcomes and make the investment in time and money worthwhile? Now in its 14th iteration, IPWEA’s Professional Certificate in Asset Management Planning has quickly grown to become the internationally ...
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Brown Hill, Keswick, Glen Osmond and Parklands Creeks are important drainage watercourses in metropolitan Adelaide. Together, they drain a catchment area of 69 square kilometres extending from the Adelaide Hills in the east to Adelaide Airport in the west, with the combined catchment mainly contained within the local government areas of Adelaide, Burnside, Mitcham, Unley and West Torrens. This area is home to more than 200,000 residents. Unfortunately, the creeks have a history of flooding and a low standard of flood protection, and therefore a relatively high flood risk. To improve the standard of flood protection for homes, businesses and public facilities ...
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ISO 55000 five years on

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This year marks half a decade since the ISO 55000 suite of asset management standards were released. We spoke to Peter Way PSM, who plays a key role in the ongoing development of the standard as the IPWEA representative on the Standards Australia Mirror Committee, about the impact ISO 55000 has had on the industry. intouch: How has the industry responded to the release of the ISO 55000 suite? Way: There was quite strong interest across varying sectors. Many were – and still are – keen to look at using the standards to help them continuously improve the way in which they perform their asset management obligations. Aspects of the standards such as ...
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The Commonwealth Government has extended the Roads to Recovery Program from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2024. The government also confirmed it would set aside an amount of $20,470,450 of the Western Australian allocation. The money is for a programme of special projects (bridgeworks and Aboriginal access roads) within Western Australia but the bodies to receive that funding have not yet been decided. The full details, as well as an explanatory statement and a complete list of funding amounts and recipients, is available on the Federal Register of Legislation
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Scott Hamilton , University of Melbourne Ten years ago, on February 7, 2009, the Black Saturday bushfires killed 173 people. More than 2000 houses were destroyed in Victoria, including at Kilmore, Kinglake, Vectis (Horsham), Narbethong, Marysville, Strathewan, Beechworth, Labertouche (Bunyip), Coleraine, Weerite, Redesdale, Harkaway, Upper Ferntree Gully, Maiden Gully, Bendigo, Eaglehawk, Lynbrook, St Andrews, Flowerdale, Narre Warren, Callignee, and my home town of Churchill, where my mother and father still lived. Their home wasn’t burned, but many of their neighbours were badly affected by the worst bushfire day in Australia’s history. A week ...
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When Jim Coten became Executive Manager Operations at the City of Swan in 2007, he came to a disturbing realisation. City of Swan graduate engineer John Drake.  “I was doing some workforce planning, and one thing that stood out was the lack of engineers, but also the lack of young engineers,” he tells intouch .  The average age of the City’s five engineers was 55, and the average age of retirement for engineers is 62. “When we actually projected the age profile forward 10 years, and if you assume the average retirement age of an engineer is 62, I would have been the only engineer left. This was very frightening and we knew we had to do something,” ...
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From roads that monitor their own wear and tear, to streetlights that know when they need to dim and brighten, infrastructure is quickly finding its voice – and telling asset managers some very interesting stories.  Playgrounds are no different. One of the options available to park managers looking to smarten up their assets comes from Canadian company Biba, which uses free smartphone apps to combine digital and physical play in an imaginative and active way for families. Although the games work on any playground, the installation of small augmented reality markers scanned with the smartphone during play unlocks the app’s full capabilities, providing a ...
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Finn Macleod, a Construction and Maintenance Engineer from WA’s City of Swan, is the latest in a long line of the council’s staff to complete IPWEA’s online Professional Certificate in Asset Management Planning. Finn Macleod from City of Swan says the Professional Certificate in Asset Management Planning is opening doors for his career. “A large chunk of our asset management team has done the course, and a lot of us who aren’t even in asset management anymore are doing it,” Macleod says. “Our previous Executive Assistant to the Executive Manager of Operations has been doing the course, because they’re dealing with councillors and need to relay ...
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