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AGL Energy has made the largest order to-date of the new Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid SUVs with an additional 32 new vehicles added to its national fleet, to take its total Outlander PHEV fleet to 36 vehicles. Mitsubishi Motors Australia CEO, Mutsuhiro Oshikiri said the purchase of Outlander PHEV allows AGL to utilise the benefits of world’s first hybrid electric SUV and its electric vehicle efficiency without the range anxiety of a pure electric vehicle. “AGL Energy’s purchase of the new Outlander PHEV further showcases the ongoing commitment AGL has made to reduce its impact on the environment,” Oshikiri said. “The Outlander PHEVs are a versatile ...
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Market leader Toyota has recorded its best May sales in five years, delivering almost 20,000 new vehicles to its Australian customers last month. Toyota’s tally of 19,876 new-vehicle sales represented the company’s most successful May since 2012 and a gain of 15.6 per cent over the same month last year. Toyota outsold the combined total of its two nearest rivals and its share of the Australian new-vehicle market exceeded 19 per cent – both for the second month in a row. Coincidentally, HiLux and LandCruiser Prado sales were also at the highest May level since 2012 while demand for Camry was stronger than for any May in the past 11 years. Toyota dealers ...
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Australia’s first national heavy vehicle health check shows a sound performance by industry in maintaining vehicles, with some room for improvement. Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the results of the National Roadworthiness Baseline Survey would provide further focus on inspection programs and help measure improvements in the mechanical condition of the heavy vehicle fleet. The report showed that younger vehicles were five times less likely to have a major non-conformity than vehicles 10-years and older, and 11 times less likely to have a major non-conformity than 13-year-old vehicles. Brakes had the highest rate of ...
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Australian governments are taking steps to move to a new era of mobility, with the recent launch of national guidelines for trials of automated vehicles. Guidelines for trials of automated vehicles in Australia is a joint publication of the National Transport Commission (NTC) and Austroads. The guidelines support state and territory road agencies in providing exemptions or permits for trials, and give greater certainty to industry on conditions for trials. Chief Executive of the NTC Paul Retter said the guidelines were designed to be flexible and easy for industry to use, to support trials across Australia. “We have worked closely with vehicle manufacturers, ...
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Rob Wilson – Manager IPWEA FLEET Our working lives are not getting any less busy. I read recently about how a new salutation has developed. Some says “Hi – how ya goin'?’” and the new response is “Busy!”. This increasing pace is attributable to a number of reasons. A drive to improve efficiency within organisations often means staffing is reduced and more work is spread across fewer people. There is also an increasing compliance burden as regulatory obligations increase and organisational policy requirements and reporting rise. Beyond this the ever-present nature of technology means we’re always 'on-call'. Email, mobile calls and texts mean the traditional ...
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What do you get the dog that has everything? How about a specially fitted out Nissan? The 'Rouge Dogue' provides everything a pampered pooch needs to stay safe and comfortable on those long road trips including a special dog shower, non-spill water dispensers and harness points. Dennis McCarthy, car coordinator for the Fast and Furious films built the fitout which was displayed at the 2017 New York International Motor Show. According to Nissan , 83% of 400 dog owners surveyed say it is just as important for their dog to be safe and comfortable in their vehicle as other passengers.  "For all of the dog lovers at Nissan, the Rogue Dogue is so much ...
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IPWEA FLEET continues to develop new resources and provide increased value for our subscribers. A new w hole of life cost calculator is now available. The WOL calculator can be used to estimate: total and annualised WOL cost, internal hire or recharge rates, replacement reserve allocation and best value purchase scores. Calculations can be undertaken for a single asset or multiple assets and a best value analysis report generated based on user defined weighted criteria. Details on how to access the WOL calculator is on the Plant and Vehicle Fleet Management landing page. There is also a new, subscribers only resources page where useful references and ...
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If you think senior staff are just another customer then you have your head in the sand. These people set the direction of the council and make decisions that affect the long term viability of our business. A pleasant experience when dealing with Fleet will have a positive outcome when high level decisions are being made, an unpleasant experience could have the opposite effect. So swallow your ill-directed pride and make sure they are greeted with a smile, delivered back to the office and that their vehicle is serviced to a high standard and cleaned. We have all heard the whinges from the mechanics that “it’s not my job to wash his car”; guess what – yes ...
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By Andrew C. Lemer, Ph.D., Senior Program Officer, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Washington, D.C.; Chair, APWA Engineering & Technology Committee It happens all the time. Someone in the department who really knows her job gets a promotion or retires and her coworkers who remain behind discover that they don’t have a clue about many of the things their former colleague did so well. Who were the key contacts on that road project? Why is the computer network set up this way? Where are those old drawings and specs stored? Knowledge important to the smooth running of the organisation has been lost. We all have knowledge ...
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IPWEA Australasia is set to crown the best of the best in public works across Australia and New Zealand at this year’s IPWEA International Public Works Conference in Perth. The inaugural IPWEA Australasia Excellence Awards will celebrate the very best projects from each Division.  Most IPWEA Divisions conduct excellence awards competitions at their State conferences to showcase excellence from the industry within their state or New Zealand. These awards are keenly sought and are highly prized. They provide recognition of excellence in public works infrastructure and showcase the diversity of projects, innovation within the industry and professionalism ...
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Newcastle has launched Australia’s biggest smart pole rollout, with plans to install 350 smart poles.  Up to 50 smart city technology poles will be deployed around Newcastle’s inner city over the next few months, with a further 300 to make an appearance over the next few years. The first smart pole has already been deployed at Newcastle Mall. As well as offering WiFi connectivity, the smart poles boast LED lighting that can be dimmed by remote control, audio speakers for public announcements and cameras for real-time traffic analysis. “We’re excited about the smart poles because they’re the first real tech hardware installed as part of the smart city ...
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The engineering community has welcomed the ACT Government’s promise to appoint a Chief Engineer to oversee the territory’s growing portfolio of infrastructure projects. The position was a 2016 election commitment from the Labor government, and was called for by industry associations including Engineers Australia, Consult Australia and Professionals Australia. In a climate where the de-engineering of local government is a growing issue, the creation of the role is a clear nod toward the vital role engineers should play in government.  In Building Victoria Together, a joint report from IPWEA Vic and Professionals Australia, the authors found that: “Over ...
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If you ever needed more proof of the amazing feats engineers are capable of, take a look at these 19 projects that boggle the mind with their scale and ambition. Ranging from London's Crossrail project – the largest construction project ever undertaken in Europe – to China's Jiaozhou Bay Bridge, the world's longest cross-sea bridge, the man-power, materials and money invested in these projects is breathtaking.  See the full list of projects compiled by Business Insider  here. Image: China's Jiaozhou Bay Bridg
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It’s no secret that our growing cities are crying out for smarter, greener and safer transport solutions, and a world-first Melbourne experiment aims to deliver just that. Described as a ‘living laboratory’, the National Connected Multimodal Transport Test Bed (NCMT) is expected to help engineers develop a highly integrated multimodal transport system, making travel more efficient and sustainable. Led by the University of Melbourne, the NCMT will bring together the data generated by thousands of sensors and wireless units, as well as traffic, public transport and parking data to investigate ways to relieve pressures created by population growth and traffic ...
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A New Zealand program designed to boost the country’s engineering workforce has hit its target of producing 500 graduates a year, a full year ahead of schedule. Initially set up in 2014, the Government’s Engineering – Education to Employment (e2e) program promotes engineering and technology careers to students.  The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) has confirmed 511 graduates from priority engineering courses in 2016, for a total of 2151 graduates in 2016. Minister of Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Paul Goldsmith says the program’s public awareness campaign has already lifted the profile of engineering from 10th to 3rd place in potential students’ ...
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IPWEA is acutely aware that many coastal councils are grappling with the impact of climate change on coastal assets and are turning to us for expert guidance. Our National Asset Management Strategy (NAMS) Council has approved a new practice note to be developed on this topic, focussing on stormwater outfalls, surf clubs and hardstand infrastructure adjacent to coastal areas. We have partnered with Northern Beaches Council (NSW) for this project and are calling for expressions of interest from IPWEA members, universities, councils and authorities who may have an interest in this area or research material which they feel could be relevant. We will also be ...
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*Sponsored content  For those exercise junkies in the up-market Perth suburb of Applecross, the impressive new set of steps installed by Landmark at Heathcote Reserve are a welcome sight. But the news is also good for nearby residents who prefer to sleep in. Wider and safer than the previous ageing, and increasingly dangerous, timber version, joggers can now scale the 11.5m – from bottom to top, via 57 risers – with greater confidence in search of that fitness boost. The stairs that connect the Swan River foreshore and walkway to Heathcote Reserve at the top, represent a significant achievement in planning and execution by Landmark Products and the ...
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By Chris Edwards, AUS-SPEC Engineer Many regional councils struggle with recruiting and retaining skilled public works engineers, and with an increasing number of local government engineers starting to retire the problem is only going to get worse.  Chris Edwards is a civil engineer with more than 40 years’ experience in local government. Now working with AUS-SPEC, the specification system for design, construction and maintenance of local government assets, Edwards says he is disappointed by the ‘spiralling situation’ of older local government engineers rapidly retiring or leaving the industry. Here, he outlines the reasons he believes regional councils ...
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*Sponsored content You’ve probably heard the countless reasons machine technologies save you time and money. Caterpillar put these to the test by building two roads in a production study. One road used traditional road construction processes while the other used the latest in technology. The results speak for themselves. The setup Two roads, each 120m in length, were constructed at the Peoria Proving Grounds in Peoria, Illinois. The first was built using traditional processes. The second was built with Cat® Connect Technology & Services including telematics, machine control and guidance, payload, and intelligent compaction technologies. The test ...
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The Finkel Review at a glance

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Madeleine De Gabriele , The Conversation ; Michael Hopkin , The Conversation , and Wes Mountain , The Conversation The long-awaited report from Chief Scientist Alan Finkel into Australia’s National Electricity Market has been released.  The key recommendation is the adoption of a Clean Energy Target. This mandates that energy retailers provide a certain amount of their electricity from 'low-emissions' generators – sources that produce emissions below a threshold level of carbon dioxide per megawatt. Crucially, Dr Finkel has not made a recommendation as to the precise threshold or the number of certificates to be issued, saying: ...
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