IPWEA Blogs

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Famously outspoken former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett has warned that Australia is too complacent about water, energy and waste and is hamstrung by poor government decision-making.    Speaking at IPWEA’s Asset Management Congress in Canberra in an often entertaining, frequently blunt presentation, Kennett pulled no punches when discussing Australia’s lack of long-term infrastructure planning. “We have sat back on our backsides since the second world war and failed to apply our creativity to water, waste and energy,” he said. Kennett warned it would be future generations who would really feel the effects of inaction now.   “We have no national water ...
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What do you have to do to ensure everything is planned? I ask for new requirements and replacement details for plant and equipment four months prior to the new financial year to ensure all requests are considered and funding is directed appropriately. I will even personally contact those I know will be problem children. Somehow, they still can’t remember this! Even with all this communication the system still fails. Come the new financial year and I’m ready to spend, I get comments back to me like “That’s not what we want now. We want two of this make and model together with this body set up”. It’s only another $34,000 (each)! The custodians go the OH&S ...
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In recent issues of FLEET intouch we have discussed various activities that are critical to effective fleet management. In this issue we discuss the very important area of fuel management. Fuel supplies need active management because; fuel is a high cost driver for the fleet, high fuel usage can be an indicator of poor vehicle and driver performance and we need to ensure fuel is not wasted or pilfered. It is essential that arrangements and facilities are established to provide fuel. This may include purchase contract arrangements, fuel cards and on-site bulk supplies. Once established there needs to be clear and effective policies and procedures in relation ...
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First published in Fleet Auto News July 09, 2018 When the Stinger was launched in 2017, the last of the Holden Commodore V8 Police cars were being delivered. A replacement would be needed for the locally built pursuit vehicles in all jurisdictions. In NSW the police have chosen the BMW 5 Series. Though drivers in Queensland take note, from this week you run the risk of feeling the sting of Queensland Police’s latest road safety weapon, the high-performance V6 Kia Stinger. After an extended assessment program the first of a fleet of Stinger 330 V6 models has begun service with the Road Policing Command as an ongoing replacement for the traditional Holden ...
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In the June 2018 issue of FLEET intouch e-news I wrote about succession planning and how important it is that organisations plan for the departure of skilled and experienced workers. Hand in glove with succession planning is the professional development of staff to prepare them to take on future roles. Do you identify and list professional development requirements for the people in your team? If so, do you follow up to make sure the actions are completed? Professional development can take many forms. For example, assigning a staff member to a project where they will learn and apply new skills can be invaluable. Similarly, acting in a different and ...
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The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has recently released the Exempt car benefits and exempt residual benefits: compliance approach to determining private use of vehicle s compliance guide to assist in determining fringe benefit tax (FBT) exemptions related to cars. According to the ATO’s website, you can use this guideline to help when: You allow employees limited private use of an eligible vehicle that: - Adds no more than 2km to their trip between home and work - Doesn't exceed 1000km in total for the FBT year (1 April – 31 March), and where any one return journey doesn't exceed 200km You provide the vehicle to your employees to do their job and ...
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Proactive driver training strategies can result in significant benefits for your company, including lower fleet-related costs, and a good reputation for helping to reduce accidents, injuries and save lives. Representing your company and acting as the face of customer service, employees are your most important assets. In particular, those who drive – whether company or personal vehicles – as part of their day-to-day role, play a key role in how your Company is perceived by external parties, which can make or break your success. On the flip side, drivers also present the greatest potential for risk.  Unsafe driving makes up the majority of road traffic accidents ...
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Do you have some great suggestions to improve our flagship biennial conference coming up in August next year in Hobart? The conference committee has planning well underway, but we want to make sure that we deliver the topics, speakers, content, format, social, entertainment and excitement that you expect from a world-class event that is the IPWC. So, tell us your creative ideas, your suggestions for improvements, and anything else that you think will enhance the delegate, exhibitor or sponsor experience. Drop admin@ipwea.org a short email with the subject line 'Ideas for IPWC 2019' – this is your chance to shape the future of this industry leading international ...
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As much as we focus upon Australia and New Zealand as our core IPWEA business, we must actively engage with the global asset and fleet management community.   As the peak industry body in the AM sector, IPWEA receives delegations from around the world looking at how we do things. Just as importantly, we must go to other countries to appreciate and understand their operating environments. This is what responsible leadership is all about. At the end of this month a delegation of 15 IPWEA members will be travelling to the American Public Works Association’s expo and conference, PWX to be held in Kansas City, Missouri.  At least five of those attending (including ...
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This article first appeared in the August edition of inspire magazine. Read the original and more here.  inspire  spoke to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack about infrastructure investment and regional development in Australia ahead of his appearance at IPWEA’s Asset Management Congress. inspire: What are your priorities as Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, particularly with regards to rural and regional communities? McCormack: Our government’s overarching goal for Australia, including rural and regional Australia, is to support jobs and promote economic growth. On average, about 900 ...
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By Chelsea Wallis.  Human intervention is at the heart of the Venetian legend, earning the mythological status it retains today thanks to residents pursuing the knowledge to master nature. Not all of these efforts have been positive in the long-term. Venice is now sinking at a rate of about 2mm per year, with climate change threatening ever higher, more frequent tides upon the already fragile World Heritage Site. Today’s interventions are necessarily more robust. While much of the focus is on the city’s sea wall project – and on whether it will be enough – it is only part of the solution that Italian engineers are putting in place to protect Venice. ...
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It would look at home on the set of an Alien movie, but this intricate piece of infrastructure has a far more down-to-earth purpose. It’s the world’s first 3D printed steel bridge, and it will soon provide a path for pedestrians across the Oudezijds Achterburgwal canal in Amsterdam’s famous red-light district. Created by a consortium of mathematicians, IoT specialists and engineers working with Amsterdam-based startup MX3D, the bridge spans 12.2m, is composed of 4500kg of stainless steel, 1100km of wire and took four robotic welding arms six months to print. The original plan was to print the bridge in situ, made possible by the MX3D’s development of a ...
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Auckland is a city on the move, with upward population growth forecasts amplifying urgency for infrastructure building, a big collection of major developments underway and plans in place for hosting two prestige international events in 2021. More than 50 major downtown projects will proceed over the next decade, according to the council. And at the harbour, preparations are underway to build the infrastructure for the 36th America’s Cup. As winners of the event in Bermuda last year, Team New Zealand have chosen Auckland to host the next contest.  An alliance model has been chosen to deliver this, for reasons including tight deadlines (see sidebar), the ...
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This article was first published in APWA Reporter, the journal of the American Public Works Association. By Helen Horwitz, Principal HLH Communications, Albuquerque, New Mexico Late last year, the American Public Works Association conducted an online survey asking members to name the single most important technology for public works professionals in 2018. Almost 900 members responded, and from the answers, APWA gathered considerable data, narrowing the list to the top five. In descending order, they are:   Geographic information systems (GIS) and mapping Autonomous/connected vehicles and equipment Drones and unmanned aerial vehicles ...
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Glen Searle , University of Sydney The knowledge economy has concentrated skilled people in large cities such as Melbourne. This has meant such cities take most of Australia’s jobs, leading to what has been dubbed 'agglomeration economies' – where knowledge and production flow easily between firms and people as they cluster near one another. Australia’s population clock has ticked over to 25 million, and it’s easy to see why most of this number are living in the bigger cities. Of course, the bigger cities are also more attractive, and the cycle continues. They keep growing at the expense of smaller regional cities. For a long time now, there have ...
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This article was first published in APWA Reporter, the journal of the American Public Works Association.  By Joanne Zhang, P.E., CCM, City of Los Angeles Civil Engineer, 2017 Jennings Randolph International Fellow.  In August 2017, I gave a talk at the IPWEA conference and met with professionals around Australia as a Jennings Randolph International Fellow, an award that supports conference attendance and a public works study tour overseas. I presented my workplace, the City of Los Angeles, Bureau of Engineering, as a case study on how to adapt to a changing workforce. Engineering made it a priority for the entire organization to rebrand together to reflect ...
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Although engineers remain in high demand, new Seek data reveals the average advertised engineering salary is lower than it was five years ago.  According to Seek, the average advertised salary for engineering roles was $116,108 in the 12 months to 30 June 2018, which was 6.91% lower than five years ago ($146,596). That means engineering roles in Australia have seen one of the greatest advertised salary decreases, second only to mining, resources and energy (-13.96%). Kendra Banks, Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand, describes the trend as “disappointing”, but outlined the continued strength of the sector's advertised jobs, with the number ...
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Infrastructure Australia has released 11 decision-making principles that outgoing Chief Executive Philip Davies says will set a new benchmark for transparency and accountability around infrastructure projects.  Davies, who is leaving at the end of the month as his three-year contract draws to a close, has challenged governments to stop putting politics ahead of sound road and rail planning or risk increased congestion in Australia's capital cities.   “While the Infrastructure Priority List has helped create a credible pipeline of future infrastructure investments, too often we are still seeing instances of projects being committed to before a business case ...
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Although Australia still has a long way to go before BIM is mandated on a national scale, motivated state and local departments, a private sector keen to stay globally relevant and the growth of institutional BIM education all point to it playing a major role in the country’s future infrastructure. Goran Gelic and Alexander McLeod from McCullough Robertson Lawyers spoke to intouch about recent developments in the Building Information Modelling (BIM) space. “BIM adoption in the country has definitely been on the rise in the last 18 months, which is great,” Gelic, says. Ultimately, Gelic – a self-confessed BIM enthusiast – believes the use of BIM will ...
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With the least amount of public open space available to any metro municipality in Victoria, Glen Eira City Council needed to get creative. Mark Judge, the council’s Group Manager Projects and Infrastructure, explains why finding more recreational space for the community was essential. “We've got increasing population growth and activity centres that are being developed that are going to bring more people in, so the importance of having open space is ever increasing,” he says.  Constructed in 1883, the former 1.6Ha Caulfield Water Service Reservoir – decommissioned in the 1970s and now known as Booran Reserve – provided an ideal development site. “It's ...
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