IPWEA Blogs

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We are constantly inspired by the IPWEA NZ members that we meet, their stories, journeys and achievements.  This month we talk to George Bowman, Flood Risk Engineer and Director of Asset BowManagement Ltd.   George Bowman (27) is a Flood Risk Engineer and Director of Asset BowManagement Ltd . George immigrated to New Zealand from the UK in July 2017 where he worked in the Flood Protection department of the Greater Wellington Regional Council until December 2019. He set up Asset BowManagement Ltd with the personal mission of contributing to reducing and managing the risk of flooding, both now and into the future, which he believes the most effective way ...
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MEDIA STATEMENT The $1.8 billion funding boost for local government road and community projects announced today is an effective way to facilitate the rapid delivery of much needed infrastructure to regional Australia, according to the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA). IPWEA President Rita Excell welcomed the statement by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, and Regional Development Michael McCormack, who announced the new $500 million Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program and the bringing forward of $1.3 billion of the 2020-21 Financial Assistance Grant payment. Excell agreed with McCormack that ...
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​ By Rob Wilson – Director IPWEA FLEET Fleet Budget Pressures It’s an unfortunate truth, but the fact is COVID-19 has had, and will continue to have, a significant financial impact on many businesses. The impact may be direct, such as the devastating effects on the auto industry , or indirect such as in local government where various revenue streams have been diminished or been totally negated. The immutable outcome is that businesses will need to re-think their finances and budgets. What does this mean for fleets and the fleet budget? Most likely, fleet practitioners will find themselves front and centre and required to find savings. From an operational ...
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​ ​The fleet management industry has such a diverse range of people and roles, and everyone has a unique story of their journey in our industry. This month we talk to Mark Virgo, Team Leader Mechanical Services – Kangaroo Island Council, South Australia. FI : How did you get started in fleet and plant, and what was your first job in the industry? MV: Having started my mechanics apprenticeship back in 1982, I progressed through the retail industry in light vehicles culminating in a period working at a Nissan dealership here on Kangaroo Island managing the workshop. Fifteen years ago, I took on my current position with Kangaroo Island Council. FI : ...
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​​ Fleet Winter Webinars . IPWEA FLEET will be conducting a webinar series in June and July to increase valuable on-line content and provide a touch point with the fleet community during COVID-19 isolation protocols. The FWW series will comprise 4 sessions relevant to fleet practitioners. The topics include Cost Management, Transitioning to Electric Vehicles, Acquisition of Special Purpose Vehicles and Fleet Performance Management. These highly informative seminars will provide practical takeaways and fleet practitioners can attend one, some or all sessions. Fleet Management Certificate . The IPWEA Fleet Management Certificate is a recognised industry qualification ...
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Award-winning software’s logbook feature satisfies ATO’s requirements for calculating Fringe Benefits Tax following class ruling. Melbourne, Australia, February 24, 2020  – Smartrak, an industry-leading provider of mobility, fleet management, and telematics solutions, announced today that its PoolCar booking system has been granted a Class Ruling for the use of Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) reporting. In the ruling, the Australian Tax Office observed that PoolCar’s logbook feature satisfies the definition of “logbook records” for the purpose of claiming FBT. When integrated with telematics, PoolCar tracks staff journeys and allocates the odometer readings ...
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​ The hidden benefits of COVID-19! By: Anonymous Fleet Manager Whilst acknowledging the significant impact that COVID-19 has had on our economy and workforce there have been some benefits arise from the restrictions. First, isolating operators from the workshop has been a positive step. In particular, there has been a benefit in isolating those who just want to go to the workshop for a chat before they start their work as well as the consistent whingers. Many workshops have isolated the contact point away from the workshop itself to comply with the social distancing rules. What a success that has been! The mechanics are getting through work much ...
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A new report by Deloitte, Beyond the impacts of COVID-19: A brighter future through infrastructure investment , argues that investment in infrastructure is critical to New Zealand’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. New Zealand has a strong construction sector, particularly in Auckland where the value of total building rose from $12 billion in 2015 to $24 billion in 2019. In 2019, construction accounted for 9.6 per cent of all jobs in the national economy and was the second largest sector. The report authors call on the government to protect public sector investment in the face of rising debt to increase New Zealand’s productive capacity and ...
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Infrastructure Australia has given its tick of approval to two Western Australian rail infrastructure projects , which will create more than 9,000 job opportunities and provide a welcome boost to the economy. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the addition of the METRONET projects – Morley-Ellenbrook Line and High Capacity Signalling System – to IA’s Priority List recognises the Government’s decision to plan and invest in nationally significant projects. The government has committed $2.5 billion to METRONET projects in Western Australia, which involves 70 kilometres of ...
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Semi-transparent solar cells that can be incorporated into window glass are a “game-changer” that could transform architecture, urban planning and electricity generation. That’s according to Australian scientists, led by members of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science, writing in a paper published by  Nano Energy . The researchers – led by Professor Jacek Jasieniak from Exciton Science and Monash University – have succeeded in producing next-generation perovskite solar cells that generate electricity while allowing light to pass through. They are now investigating how the new technology could be built into commercial products with  Viridian ...
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Three major waste sector projects are among the first tranche of fast-tracked approvals under the New South Wales government’s new Planning System Acceleration Program, a scheme designed to provide an economic boost during the COVID-19 crisis. On the South Coast, the extension to an existing putrescible landfill at the Shoalhaven City Council-owned West Nowra Recycling and Waste Facility will include six additional landfill cells. The $19.1 million project is expected to create 28 jobs. In the City of Sydney, Visy Industries Australia received approval for the establishment of the $23.8 million Visy Dry Recyclables Facility in Alexandria for receipt and ...
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New-vehicle sales plummeted in Australia in April. Social distancing measures announced by the government in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic saw sales fall to 38,926 in April , a 48.5 per cent drop from the previous year. The sharp fall represents the biggest decline of any month in 30 years, and the 25 th month of declining sales. Toyota topped the list with 26.5 per cent market share, posting more than 10,000 sales – a figure down 31.8 per cent on April last year. Toyota accounted for five of the six top-selling models: HiLux (2339), RAV4 (1911), LandCruiser (1603), Corolla (1195) and Prado (947). The Ford Ranger came in fourth, with 1540 ...
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Source: The Conversation [By John L Hopkins, Innovation Fellow, Swinburne University of Technology]   We have seen an unprecedented rise in the number of people working from home as directed by governments and employers around the world to help stop the spread of COVID-19.  If, as some expect,  people are likely to work from home more often  after the pandemic, what will this mean for infrastructure planning? Will cities still need all the multibillion-dollar road, public transport, telecommunications and energy projects, including some already in the pipeline?  World’s largest work-from-home experiment Remote working was  steadily ...
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A recent update for our sector is how LookSee, who were part of last year’s IPEWA conference, has responded to change brought on by COVID-19. LookSee focused on creating a sector solution for talent, largely around skilled migrants joining our industry. This is a service used by many of our members. Here’s an update on future skills demand and how LookSee has adapted to ensure we attract and retain the talent to BUILDNZ NOW.   We want to support the current situation and future infrastructure demands by leveraging the collaborative nature of LookSee that already exists as we work with over 80 organisations in the infrastructure sector. ​ The focus for ...
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IPWEA NZ’s Digital Badges show their value to the industry for council staff recruitment and induction during lockdown… IPWEA NZ’s Communications Manager Freda Wells recently caught up with staff from Queenstown Lakes District Council to talk about IPWEA NZ's Digital Badges . There is a common misperception that the whole world wants to move to Queenstown, with its fast-paced, adrenalin-junkie, adventure-tourism image, but in reality it can be very expensive to set up life in Queenstown, says Polly Lambert, Acting Strategy & Asset Management Planning Manager in the Property & Infrastructure Team at Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC). ...
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​Climate change poses a significant risk to infrastructure, as extreme weather events such as heatwaves, droughts, bushfires, storm surges and flooding become more frequent. The damaging effects of extreme weather events are evident now. In 2017, Hurricane Harvey ravaged the United States, causing $125 billion worth of damage. In 2019, fires raged out of control in the Amazon. The Australian 2019/20 bushfire season began in winter and went on to burn an estimated 18.6 million hectares and claim 34 lives. While the economic cost of the fires is still being calculated, it is expected to exceed the $4.4 billion price tag some have attached  to the 2009 ...
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​ Researchers have shown how a by-product of steel-making can be used to both treat wastewater and make stronger concrete, in a zero-waste approach to help advance the circular economy. Produced during the separation of molten steel from impurities, steel slag is often used as a substitute aggregate material for making concrete. Steel slag can also be used to absorb contaminants like phosphate, magnesium, iron, calcium, silica and aluminium in the wastewater treatment process, but loses its effectiveness over time. Engineering researchers at RMIT University examined whether slag that had been used to treat wastewater could then be recycled as an ...
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By Ken Goldberg – Consultant, IPWEA FLEET ​The COVID-19 pandemic continues to create an extremely challenging environment for fleet practitioners. Rules, regulations and operations change on a daily, if not hourly basis. This situation is forcing fleet managers to seek innovative solutions to deal with such momentous and accelerated change. To help share information amongst our community, IPWEA FLEET held an online webinar earlier this month, to hear four fleet practitioners speak about how they are dealing with the coronavirus crisis. The speakers included Thomas Brayley (Logan City Council), Scott Owen (Brisbane City Council), Andrew Douglas (Home@Scope) ...
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​Representatives from local, state and federal governments have committed to ensuring the pace of planning approvals is unaffected throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in an effort to protect jobs, businesses and the economy. Planning Ministers from the states and territories have met with Alan Tudge, the Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure, and David O’Loughlin, the President of the Australian Local Government Association, to establish a set of principles determining how planning systems should operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. “The impact of COVID-19 means swift changes to planning regimes are necessary to ensure development ...
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​ Major road upgrades around the country are continuing during the COVID-19 lockdown. In Queensland, the first construction contract has been awarded for the $1 billion Pacific Motorway (M1) upgrade between Varsity Lakes and Tugun (VL2T) , with work expected to start in weeks. The project, jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments, includes widening the M1 from two to three lanes in both directions, extending entry and exit ramps and rebuilding Burleigh Interchange (Exit 87) into a Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI). It is set to support 850 jobs throughout the construction phase. Federal Minister for Population, Cities and ...
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