IPWEA Blogs

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As I write this message, I am in Perth for the last of our 2018 Plant and Vehicle Management Workshops. As always, this series has seen a broad range of interesting topics and great engagement and discussion by attendees. For the first time we included Newcastle in the program and we look forward to continuing to provide quality professional development to our fleet community in regional centres as well as capital cities. One area that was of increased interest to attendees is electric vehicles. Increasingly, organisations are introducing hybrid and plug-in electric passenger cars to their fleet and in some cases, commitments have been made to heavy electric ...
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Penny wise, pound foolish – so the old saying goes. What’s a fleet worth? A million dollars, $10 million? What does a fleet cost to run each year? Heaps! And so, the opportunity exists to save big money as well. Some people have a mindset that by not buying resources and tools you’re saving money. Wake up! Open your eyes and look beyond the price tag. Everybody knows that you need to spend a dollar to save a dollar – sometimes save tens of thousands of dollars. This means having the right people, right systems and the right tools to do the job. The trouble is it’s about not knowing what you don’t know. You might even be reading this and still not GET IT! ...
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Understanding labour rates

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By Rob Wilson, Manager IPWEA FLEET Labour Rate refers to the cost of labour, usually on an hourly basis, used to derive the cost of various activities or products. In the case of a mechanical workshop, these activities are the services and repairs undertaken. If the time taken for a particular job is recorded, then the hourly rate can be applied to the time taken and the total cost accrued to the assets operating cost and ultimately whole of life cost. You may hear labour rate defined in different ways, for example: Fully burdened labour rate: this is the hourly cost to employ a person plus the burden of additional costs such as taxes, insurance ...
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First published in Fleet Auto News Australian fleet buyers have signalled a switch to electric vehicles (EVs) in the next two years, on the back of a unique EV Drive Day convened by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC). The EV Drive Day brought together 60 fleet buyers and managers from 41 organisations, who were given the chance to test drive electric passenger and light commercial vehicles. With 13 models available for testing, the event represented the largest collection of EVs in one place in the Australian market. Collectively, the drivers completed 180 laps of the 3km Lakeside Drive track at Melbourne’s Albert Park, giving them a chance ...
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By Cindy McDougall, Fleet Management Officer, City of Tea Tree Gully What is the difference between purchasing and procurement? Many people use the terms purchasing and procurement interchangeably, but despite their similarities, they do have different meanings. Procurement deals with the sourcing, negotiation and strategic selection and acquisition of goods and services that are of importance to an organisation. Purchasing, on the other hand, is the process of how goods and services are acquired. Purchasing can usually be described as the transactional function of procurement for goods or services. In our daily jobs, procurement can become a very cumbersome ...
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As General Manager of Fleet Services with the City of Toronto, Lloyd Brierley was given the unenviable task of transforming operations for Canada’s largest municipal fleet department. We spoke to Brierley ahead of his keynote presentation at the 2019 IPWEA Australasian Fleet Conference, where he’ll tell delegates how the transformation was achieved.   inspire: How large is City of Toronto’s fleet? What kind of fleet assets does it include? Brierley: The City of Toronto’s fleet is comprised of approximately 13,000 assets spread across the city’s divisions and agencies. The city-wide fleet is still somewhat fragmented, so the Fleet Services Division ...
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The future of a beloved piece of playground equipment is in doubt, with experts warning the number of injuries sustained on monkey bars is on the rise. The humble monkey bar is a playground staple, but according to Dr Lisa Sharwood, an injury epidemiologist at the University of Sydney, it’s among the leading causes of injuries in children.    Dr Sharwood, who has worked with Monash University’s Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit on research to be published in coming months which found a 41% increase in emergency department presentations in Victoria as a result of monkey bar injuries over the past decade. "There were a total of 14,167 monkey bar related ...
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A new report has revealed the local government sector's asset management knowledge and capability is in decline, jeopardising the industry’s ability to plan and finance future services. The National State of the Assets (NSoA) 2018 report also found that despite a steady increase in infrastructure renewal spending, there’s been no improvement in the proportion of ageing infrastructure assets in poor condition since the first NSoA report was released in 2012.   More than 400 councils, or 75% of the sector, contributed to the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) report, which was launched at the 2018 National Road and Transport Congress. Collectively, ...
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IPWEA is pleased to welcome global advisory firm Advisian to the National Asset Management Strategy (NAMS) Consultants Roundtable. Advisian is an independent subsidiary of the WorleyParsons Group and employs more than 2700 consultants in 19 countries. It provides strategic, technical and management advisory services to the energy, resources and infrastructure sectors. The NAMS Supporter Program was established in 2005. It is designed to facilitate collaboration with organisations that see value in supporting the work being undertaken by the NAMS Committee, and investing in the development of the asset management industry. The objective of the IPWEA Consultants ...
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Young IPWEA (YIPWEA) members are encouraged to submit their abstracts and secure their place at IPWEA’s 2019 International Public Works Conference (IPWC). With the call for abstracts extended until COB 4 December, there’s still time to get your submission in – but you’ll have to be quick! Set to be held 25-29 August, 2019 in Hobart, the next IPWC will see more than 120 papers delivered across three days, with five parallel streams and at least four keynote sessions. YIPWEA Australasia Chair Nicola Daaboul said that, for the first time, a dedicated YIPWEA stream has been introduced to the conference program. “This is the perfect opportunity to showcase ...
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Tan Yigitcanlar , Queensland University of Technology ; Laurie Buys , Queensland University of Technology , and Md. (Liton) Kamruzzaman , Monash University Many places around the world claim to be a “ smart city ”, but what that means is often unclear. A smart city is widely seen as an urban area that uses technology to enhance performance and the quality of its services. In other words, it’s a happy marriage of technology and the city . Before we look at what is being planned in Australia and what is being done overseas, an important question is: How smart are our cities now? The answer enables our cities to benchmark where we are now and ...
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IPWEA, with the support of ASCA, SCCANZ and Austrade, recently led a delegation to the 2018 Smart Cities Expo World Congress in Barcelona. This event, by far the largest of its kind in the world, brought together more than 20,000 leaders in the smart cities space, along with more than 800 exhibitors and hundreds of speakers from around the world. Based on feedback from tour participants and some of the best presentations and meetings held, here six recurring smart city themes from Barcelona: 1. Articulate where your community is headed A successful smart city needs an ambitious long-term strategy articulating what it wants to achieve in the future to make ...
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The Tyre Stewardship R&D Fund has already committed more than $3 million for projects focused on new, domestic uses for recycled end-of-life tyres. Now, Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA) has extended the fund to include real-world projects that promise to help give old tyres a second life.  The fund has been extended to include a demonstration and infrastructure stream, which TSA says will help prove the viability of different projects, such as the use of crumbed rubber in asphalt mixes. The decision to expand the funding streams was motivated by a demand to capitalise on the benefits of research and by the findings of the TSA supported National Market ...
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Amphibians in the UK have been given a leg-up with the installation of ‘frog ladders’, designed to help them escape certain death from roadside drains. A small group of British conservationists – memorably named the Warwickshire Amphibian and Reptile Team, or WART – are behind the scheme. Since 2017, they have been rescuing frogs and toads from drains using nets and buckets. Amphibians can become trapped in the drains when travelling between breeding pools, and WART says the hazard is taking its toll on the local frog population.  It is one of the factors, along with habitat loss, that is blamed for common toad numbers declining by 68% in the UK during ...
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New Zealand has proven its expertise in civil engineering to the world, winning the 2018 Institution of Civil Engineers People's Choice Award for the Kaikōura earthquake recovery project.  The project, which was a partnership between KiwiRail and the New Zealand Transport Agency, beat nine other shortlisted projects including city railways in India, innovative British windfarms and a huge river bridge in Scotland.  On 14 November 2016, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit in Kaikōura, New Zealand. The epic jolt resulted from the country’s strongest ground acceleration on record. Nearly 1 million cubic metres of rock and debris fell onto roads and the rail line ...
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Following the successful production of parks Practice Notes 10.1, 10.2, 10.3 and 10.4, IPWEA is now ready to develop the fifth practice note in the parks series, which is designed to provide practical guidance for all issues relating to the planning of parks and open spaces. To ensure we represent current best practice, from across the industry, we are inviting parks practitioners and contractors with experience in parks management and planning to join a reference group to provide input and feedback to assist the project managers, Xyst Australia Pty Ltd, in the development of  Practice Note 10.5. Parks Management: Planning . You will be required to respond ...
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Technology seems to be changing everything, and community consultation is certainly not immune. About five years ago, community consultation professionals went through a little navel gazing, according to Kylie Cochrane. The Global Service Leader, Stakeholder Engagement and Communications at Aurecon has spent a quarter-century in community engagement, including as an adviser under three NSW Premiers, and serves on the board of the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2). Cochrane says the need for reflection those years ago was driven by the difficulty of reaching stakeholders with busy lives and ‘huge chunks’ of the population not having ...
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About one million square metres of the ACT road network will be resurfaced this year, some with recycled product Plastiphalt.  Minister for Roads, Chris Steel, announced the start of the ACT Government’s annual resurfacing program, which will start in 2018 in Tuggeranong suburbs on municipal streets. “The 2018-19 $16 million resurfacing program will see approximately 230 lane kilometres, or approximately 1,000,000 square metres of roads resurfaced, across the ACT road network. This is about the same size as 140 football fields. The majority of this work will be the road resealing, which comprises 900,000 square metres,” Steel says.  “One exciting innovation ...
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The International Infrastructure Management Manual (IIMM) is indisputably the master manual for asset management practitioners. For those who are new to asset management, however, the IIMM’s level of detail can result in a case of information overload. Enter the joint IPWEA/IPWEA NZ publication, AMBasics: Applying Infrastructure Asset Management Principles.    As a companion document to the IIMM, the newly launched AMBasics has been written to assist people and organisations new to asset management that need to gain a grasp of the basic requirements of asset management planning. Murray Erbs, IPWEA’s NAMS Chair, says the publication is essential reading ...
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These days, public works professionals are spoiled for choice when it comes to technology. But, of course, this wasn’t always the case. There was a time, before computers, when every design was meticulously drawn by hand and slide rules were relied on to perform calculations. Here, Terry McIvor looks back at a career spanning 50 years, and asks whether the bevy of digital tools now available have made it easier to get the job done – or just create more complications.  By Terry McIvor, Senior Civil Designer, Toowoomba Regional Council  Drafting was done by sitting or standing at a drafting table. I commenced work fresh out of high school in ...
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