Australia’s billion-dollar asset management task demands a contemporary approach
According to the report, old kerbside infrastructure built in the ’60s and ’70s does not meet Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) requirements. For this reason alone, it needs to be upgraded when those assets are due for renewal, inevitably at a higher cost.
With a large proportion of the Australian population entering the older demographics and therefore facing a time of more limited mobility, this will become a growing safety and equity requirement.
The ALGA cautioned at the time it released the report that, despite increased investment to renew bridges and the continued effort of councils to extend the life of their ageing assets, the backlog of bridges in poor condition remained largely unchanged.
“Councils are doing their best to bring these bridges up to a reasonable condition, but this report shows that the scale of the problem is beyond the current resources and revenue streams available to councils,” says ALGA President, Mayor David O’Loughlin.
The report also found that, while asset- and risk-management plans are mandatory documents — essential for each council to report infrastructure funding needed for the next ten years— the requirements for asset-management plans are not consistent Australia-wide.
There is no link between asset-management plans and funding. The authors argue that this makes a coordinated and effective approach to national infrastructure planning harder.
And for front-line staff, the solution needs to facilitate asset and work management — for instance, from call centre requests through to work scheduling, maintenance and completion.
An effective solution also needs to reflect the realities of how field staff work in an increasingly mobile world. Work crews and contractors should be able to accept and complete work in both a connected or disconnected environment.
The scale of the asset management problem is set to grow, but how well equipped are your systems to meet these new requirements?
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