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infrastructure YEARBOOK ® 2011/2012

1 • the australian local government environment yearbook 2011/2012 ISBN 978-1-921345-21-0

76 Berry Street – Exemplar retrofit* Designed to be Australia’s lowest emission building Case study Designed and installed by Haden, the mechanical and electrical upgrade of 76 Berry St is targeting a reduction in emissions of 80% using Australian technologies. It is also aiming for 70% improvement on NABERS 5 Star rating at an upgrade cost of $550m/m2. The entire building upgrade is being carried out while fully tenanted.

Dedicated Outdoor Air-handling System

Tri-generation Australian made Bennett Clayton engine technology drives a state of the art, non polluting tri-generation system, for combined heating, cooling and power production. This technology is multi-fuel capable; including liquid biofuels.

Energy efficient lighting

Australian designed, Shaw Method of Air Conditioning twin-coil system prevents the need to use energy twice to overcool and reheat air in order to maintain humidity, and monitors and adjusts humidity levels, providing better control and improved IEQ.

BMCS A fully integrated Building Management and Controls system including a green screen and web interface to educate tenants and visitors of the building’s energy efficiencies.

New Australian lighting technology e1 lighting: installed in base building and tenant lighting systems reducing direct lighting energy consumption by 70%. Additional benefits with reduced building heat load reduction and improved IEQ.

*Noted as an Exemplar project by the Australian Federal Government and a recipient of a grant under the AusIndustry Green Building Fund.

Australian manufactured chillers Powerpax compressor technology offers efficiencies greater than existing technologies.

Haden “Lead contractor on 76 Berry St under a fixed price contract. Haden are part of the Norfolk Group, an Australian company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX:NFK).”

HADEN For over 40 years, Haden has provided excellence in Australian mechanical engineering and air conditioning design, construction, retrofits and maintenance to Australian Local Government libraries, galleries, offices and sporting facilities.

SMAC is the leading technology in the most energy efficient office building in the Sydney CBD. SMAC is also the leading technology in the first 5 star Green Star hospital in Australia. If you want improved comfort and indoor environmental quality, greater control of humidity and a significant energy reduction then SMAC is for you. Visit or Contact SMAC Technologies at or (618) 8363 3155 for more details. The Shaw Method of Air Conditioning was developed by Dr. Allan Shaw and is proudly Australian owned.

Creating a better workplace for YOU and a better world for OUR children Envirolite /E1 lighting provides: • A highly efficient and cost effective solution No change to ceiling grids required. Installation completed without interruption to normal work practices. • Reduced energy consumption Reduces lighting energy consumption by approximately 75%.

• An improved working environment Increased work productivity due to reduced glare, reduced visual fatigue and improved acuity. • Light fittings manufactured in Australia Envirolite Pty Ltd and e1Lighting are 100% Australian owned.

ENVIROLITE /E1 LIGHTING Level 1, 90 Karimbla Rd Miranda NSW 2228 Tel (02) 9526 6622 Fax (02) 9526 6644 Email:

Walker EcoStrategies “Economic Ecological Asset Advisory” Having developed building upgrade strategies and obtained funding for Local Government Super of over $4.5M under the Green Building Fund we would like to be able to assist local councils in your upgrade strategy and applications for the Low Carbon Communities Fund. The Low Carbon Communities Fund will provide competitive grants to local councils and operators of community facilities. Low Carbon Communities will provide $330 million over four years. Please email your contact details to to obtain an information pack. Level 10, Local Government House, 28 Margaret Street, Sydney NSW 2000. Ph: (02) 9279 0066 Fax: (02) 9279 0077


Contents 4

Minister’s foreword

Leading edge local government

Roads, bridges + tunnels 60 Building better communities


Infrastructure concerns at the forefront of local government agenda

62 Recycled roads to zero waste: an Australian first


Recognition of local government in the Australian Constitution

Environment, energy + sustainability

10 A little bit about 7-Eleven

Green buildings

67 Paying for our roads

72 Distributed and municipal renewable energy projects 74 Designed for low cost of energy 76 Wind energy for local infrastructure

12 A reflection of the environment in Cairns

79 Australia’s first commercial wind farm celebrates 10 years

14 Local governments on a green star journey

80 Coastal councils face climate change dilemma

18 Plans unveiled for cultural Mecca in Cairns

83 Street Furniture helps reduce bottled water use

Best practice

86 Saving energy and water makes good business sense

20 A sustainable future for Cockburn

Fall protection + pedestrian safety 22 Taking the pain out of OHS compliance – Sayfa Systems has the answer 24 Moddex works closely with councils, ensuring safety without compromising style

Administration + corporate management 26 Funding LG infrastructure – is there a role for the private sector?

Urban planning + development – urban + regional development infrastructure

88 Infrastructure sustainability and investment: finding the right balance 89 Helping local governments achieve their sustainability goals through solar

Parks, gardens + equipment 90 Garden plants invade the wider environment 93 Transfuel™ Poly Bunded Diesel Pump Station

Equipment + machinery 94 Weeds hitching rides on vehicles and machinery 95 Caltex proudly supports council and government fleets 100 Case builds on heritage of innovation 102 Safely accessing infrastructure maintenance tasks

31 Our infrastructure crisis requires a bold rethink

104 Future planning is key to asset management

34 The National Urban Policy: its impact on local government and planning strategies in urban areas

106 Our goal is to help you achieve yours

38 Smarter safety solutions 41 The State of the Regions 44 Light, water, power and air: complete equipment solutions by AllightSykes 47 Building and other construction work in 2010 50 Creating and maintaining community assets

Transport 109 The chicken or the egg? Infrastructure provision and urban development: a transport perspective 111 MAN on the move

Asset + resource management 116 Major city risks and asset lifecycle risks

Urban planning + development

120 Practical tools for small, rural or remote communities

52 Moody Creek Catchment Plan improves future flood security in Cairns

122 Asset management innovation

54 Using recycled materials in local government works 55 Turning old lamps into new products 59 Projects and infrastructure, and open-book partnering

Published by:

430 William Street, Melbourne VIC 3000 Tel: (03) 9274 4200 Fax: (03) 9329 5295 Email: Web: 2 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012

Streetscapes 125 Delivering local government projects – effective partnerships with the private sector: Leederville Masterplan 129 The Street Furniture story

The Australian Local Government Infrastructure Yearbook® is a registered trademark of Executive Media Pty Ltd. All rights reserved. First edition 2004, Second edition 2005, Third edition 2006, Fourth edition 2007, Fifth edition 2008, Sixth edition 2009, Seventh edition 2010, Eighth edition 2011. ISBN 978-1-921345-21-0 Edited by: Gemma Peckham Design: Jody Green

Innovation 130 It all began in 2005… 132 Cabonne Council wins award for innovative infrastructure

Financial modelling 135 Australian local government infrastructure finance

Waste management 138 Making refuse trucks safer 139 Waste becomes art in regional New South Wales

Education + training 141 Local Government Training Package: Capacity, capabilities and challenges 143 New higher education awards by distance for technical staff

Water 144 Monadelphous delivers the difference 146 The challenges facing regional water equality

Lighting, exterior + interior 152 Ligman Lighting – outdoor lighting solutions 154 SPARC: Australia’s international lighting event 156 Electronic solutions stack up for lighting the outdoors 158 Streetlighting: Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action’s regional action 160 Thorn – lighting people

Features Australian Bureau of Statistics Australian Green Infrastructure Council Department of Primary Industries Green Building Council of Australia

NSW Department of Primary Industries Planning Institute of Australia Roads Australia The Australian Local Government Association

Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia

The Australian Wind Energy Institute

Lighting Council Australia

The National Sea Change Taskforce

Local Government Managers Australia

The University of New South Wales

Municipal Association of Victoria

UNE Centre for Local Government

National Institute of Economic and Industry Research

University of Western Sydney

The editor, publisher, printer and their staff and agents are not responsible for the accuracy or correctness of the text of contributions contained in this publication or for the consequences of any use made of the products, and the information referred to in this publication. The editor, publisher, printer and their staff and agents expressly disclaim all liability of whatsoever nature for any consequences arising from any errors or omissions contained in this publication whether caused to a purchaser of this publication or otherwise. The views expressed in the articles and other material published herein do no not necessarily reflect the views of the editor and publisher or their staff or agents. The responsibility for the accuracy of information is that of the individual contributors and neither the publisher nor editor can accept responsibility for the accuracy of information which is supplied by others. It is impossible for the publisher and editors to ensure that the advertisements and other material herein comply with the Trade Practices Act 1974 (CtH). Readers should make their own inquiries in making any decisions, and where necessary, seek professional advice. © 2011 Executive Media Pty Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is strictly prohibited.

the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012 • 3

minister’s foreword

Minister’s foreword


nfrastructure underpins our national productivity and quality of life, with local government critical to this investment. As the Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, I recognise local government’s vital role in the development of this great nation. It is therefore a pleasure to contribute to this publication. Local government is closest to the community and best positioned to identify community needs and solutions. This has been evident with the recent wave of natural disasters as local councils have taken a leading role in rebuilding vital infrastructure. As we look to the future, local governments have an unprecedented opportunity to work with their communities to increase the productivity and competiveness of their regions. The recent Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) National General Assembly, held in Canberra, was the largest gathering of local government representatives to date. Attended by over 900 people, it was a fantastic opportunity for twoway dialogue, to provide updates on new programs and to reinforce the Australian Government’s partnership with local government in our new regional and localism agenda. I also announced the establishment of an expert panel to progress our commitment to recognise local government in the Australian Constitution. Local government has a long history in Australia and we believe that this should be formally recognised. The panel will consult with stakeholder groups and the community to identify possible forms that recognition could take. As our Federal Budget noted, we

are an economy in transition. We have strong terms of trade, a strong dollar and a pipeline of investments. This is impacting in different ways and has created a patchwork effect, with some regions doing better than others. Our challenge is to ensure that the patches work better and are able to reach their full potential. Investing in regional infrastructure is high on our government’s agenda. That is why we have established the $1 billion Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF) and why we strengthened and renewed the nation’s network of 55 Regional Development Australia committees. Local governments are now working closely with those RDA committees to ensure that RDAF applications are backed by and fit with regional plans. This is a new approach to unlocking the potential of Australia’s regions. It is a program that focuses on locally-driven solutions to regional needs – with RDA committees working with local, state and federal governments to connect funding for infrastructure, health, education and the unparalleled opportunities that the National Broadband Network rollout will provide. I commend the innovation and resourcefulness of Australia’s councils and the tireless work you all do to improve services for your communities. I also acknowledge your innovative approach to infrastructure, including green building and urban and regional development, which are all showcased in this yearbook. The annual National Local Government Awards for Excellence, now in their 25th year, are another example of best practice in the sector. More than 100 councils from across Australia participated in this year’s awards and submitted 152 entries in 10 categories.

4 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012

I was delighted to present two councils, Mid-Western Regional Council in New South Wales and Frankston City Council in Victoria, with national awards for excellence and a further 17 councils with category awards recently. The National Awards are an important component of the partnership between the Australian and local governments. Our partnership is not without its challenges though, but of challenge comes opportunity, and I applaud the goodwill, leadership and resilience that I saw when visiting flood-affected regions in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. Funding for rebuilding is flowing in through the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA), and National Partnership Agreements have been signed with Queensland and Victoria. I look forward to continuing to work positively with local government to ensure that our regions are wonderful places to live and are wellpositioned to meet the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century.

The Hon. Simon Crean MP Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, and Minister for the Arts

leading edge local government

Infrastructure concerns at the forefront of local government agenda By Genia McCaffery, President, Australian Local Government Association Local government, through the Australian Local Government Association, is pursuing a number of key issues over the course of the next 12 months, and the maintenance of infrastructure is at the heart of each of those issues.


he priorities for local government include a review of the Australian Government’s Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) program, constitutional recognition of local government, community resilience (particularly in the face of natural disasters) and a push to make the Roads to Recovery program permanent at an increased level. All of these priorities relate to infrastructure, given that local roads – and bridges – are the most significant infrastructure assets communities have, and transport is perhaps the largest single funding commitment of most councils. The review of the FAGs program, announced by the federal government as part of the 2011-12 Budget, is welcome, and is something that ALGA has called for over recent years. The grants, which include an amount identified for local roads, currently in excess of $600 million per annum, have been declining as a proportion of most councils’ revenue at a time when costs, particularly construction costs, have been rapidly escalating. The result is a major challenge for all councils. At the 2010 National Local Roads and Transport Congress in Bunbury, ALGA released a report called ‘The Local Roads Funding Gap’. The Report demonstrates that the annual gap in local roads funding faced by councils during the next 10 years is in the order of $1.2 billion per year. This is a huge shortfall in funding with which all councils grapple on a daily basis. It is magnified by the fact that the current Roads to Recovery program is due to end in 2014. ALGA’s case for an expanded and permanent Roads to Recovery program is clear, and it’s time local government strengthened its campaign to push the case forward. In the lead-up to our next Local Roads Congress in Mount Gambier in November 2011, ALGA will be working with

all councils to build the momentum of our campaign. This year’s Congress will also feature speakers talking about the new National Roads Safety Strategy, a panel session discussing topical road safey issues in a hypothetical format, sessions looking at road safety initiatives that councils can implement in their communities, other transport issues relevant to local government, as well as the opportunity to hear from federal ministers and key federal politicians. The Roads to Recovery program is one of the best examples of the federal government providing funding directly to councils to assist with the maintenance of important community infrastructure. Securing such funding by guaranteeing its constitutional legitimacy is the focus of another of ALGA’s key priorities; the constitutional recognition of local government. ALGA has launched a campaign to highlight the importance of achieving recognition of local government in the Australian Constitution to ensure the future of direct Commonwealth funding to councils. As part of that campaign, ALGA has asked all councils to pass resolutions in support of ALGA’s proposal for a simple change to the constitution to allow direct Commonwealth funding. Our efforts in encouraging councils to pass resolutions in support of constitutional recognition have been overwhelmingly successful. We have already seen the effect of these efforts at the recent National General Assembly of local government (NGA), where leaders from all sides of politics declared their support for constitutional recognition of local government. The significance of endorsements from Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Minister for Local Government Simon Crean, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, and Greens Leader Bob the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012 • 5

leading edge local government Cr Genia McCaffery with Prime Minister Julia Gillard

Brown should not be underestimated. Referendums on recognising local government in the Australian Constitution have previously been put forward by the Whitlam Government and the Hawke Government, but both have been defeated, mainly due to a lack of bipartisan support. When coming to office last year, Prime Minister Julia Gillard agreed to a referendum on constitutional recognition of local government by 2013. At the recent NGA, Minister Simon Crean committed to advancing this process by establishing an expert panel to lead national discussion on the issue. The Chair of the expert panel is Justice James Spigelman AC, the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. The role of the panel will be to gauge community attitudes and provide advice to the federal government, with ALGA playing a large part in strategy development. Under the expert advice of Justice Spigelman, the new panel will look into the level of support for constitutional recognition of local government and identify possible forms that recognition could take. The full membership of the panel is yet to be announced; however, Minister Crean indicated that the panel will be expected to report back to the Australian Government and advise on the best way forward by the end of the year. While infrastructure is a key responsibility of councils, the vulnerability of our roads and bridges has been demonstrated in this year’s summer flooding, and their future vulnerability to the impacts of climate change is one of the matters now uppermost in councils’ thoughts.

the value of effective mitigation and education. Significant damage was avoided in many towns because flood levees had been built to protect those towns after earlier flood events. Quality risk assessments and the identification of cost effective treatments such as levees, acquisition of properties, house-raising and effective warning systems are equally important. Governments at all levels have accepted this for a long time and that is why we have partnership funding programs such as the Regional Flood Mitigation Program and the Natural Disaster Mitigation Program. Such programs need to continue because local councils do not have the resources to tackle this work alone, and it makes economic, social and environmental sense to reduce the impact of disasters rather than spending huge amounts on recovery. These recent events highlight the importance of resilient communities. A resilient community understands the risks and is aware of the limits of their governments. They are communities where people do what they can to prepare for disasters by having a plan, by preparing property to withstand natural hazards, and by taking reasonable steps to insure.

The Brisbane City Council has forecast a recovery bill of more than $400 million for the January flood and included $116.7 million in the 2011-2012 budget for the city’s flood recovery.

At the last meeting of the Council of Australian Governments in February 2011, I was pleased to agree with the Prime Minister, the Premiers and Chief Ministers on the adoption of a new National Strategy for Disaster Resilience, which sets out a number of ways to improve resilience. ALGA is working to encourage state governments to work with councils in implementation of the Strategy. Specific issues for local councils include identifying priority hazards at the local level and communicating those hazards to property owners, ensuring that local and regional land use planning takes account of identified hazards, and partnering with other levels of government to fund mitigation measures.

Of course, Brisbane is not alone. The floods and Cyclone Yasi affected up to 100 councils over the summer and the recovery bill is going to run into the billions. While damage was severe in the floods, it is clear that it could have been much worse, and the floods served to underline

The Resilience Strategy recognises that all levels of government must work more closely with communities at the local level, and that building resilience is a responsibility that is much broader than just involving those who deal with emergency services operations.

Managing emergencies and natural disasters has always been part of the job description for local government, but the enormous cost of helping communities to bounce back from natural disasters and mitigate the risks of future emergencies was again highlighted when the Brisbane City Council recently handed down its budget for 2011-2012.

6 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012

leading edge local government

Recognition of local government IN THE AUSTRALIAN CONSTITUTION


By George Williams*, Anthony Mason Professor, Faculty of Public Law, University of New South Wales

here is currently no mention of local government in Australia’s Constitution. Local government has long sought to remedy this. It has argued that just as the Constitution mentions two tiers of government – the Commonwealth and the states – so too it should mention the third. Section 128 of the Constitution sets out how that document may be altered. It requires that an amendment be passed: 1. by the federal Parliament; and 2. at a referendum by a majority of the people as a whole, and by a majority of the people in a majority of the states. Overall, 44 proposals have been put to the Australian people at a referendum. Only eight have passed. In 1974 and 1988, proposals were put forward that would have recognised local government in the Constitution. Both were rejected by the people. These failures have not deterred local government from trying again. Indeed, Prime Minister Julia Gillard promised last year that a referendum will be held at or before the next federal election on whether to recognise local government in the Constitution. This commitment is made in her agreements with the Greens and Independent members of the federal Parliament. Those agreements also contain a promise to hold a referendum on whether to recognise Indigenous Australians in the Constitution. The idea of ‘constitutional recognition’ of local government has focused on three options endorsed at the December 2008 Constitutional Summit, organised by the

Australian Local Government Association (ALGA). Each is examined below. ALGA has resolved to support as its primary object the third option of financial recognition, but also to pursue the first option of symbolic recognition if at some stage a new preamble is drafted for the Constitution.

Symbolic recognition in a new preamble It has often been suggested that a new preamble should be inserted at the beginning of the Australian Constitution. This could be a way of recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, as was attempted at the failed 1999 referendum, and also the three tiers of government. Recognising local government in a new preamble to the Constitution would be a symbolic measure of no significant legal effect. Recognition might simply be a matter of including somewhere in the preamble the words ‘federal, state and local government’. This might occur after reference to democracy and the rule of law so as to indicate that each tier of government must give expression to these bedrock principles.

Institutional recognition At its simplest, institutional recognition of local government might involve something like the proposal put to the Australian people at the 1988 referendum. Proposed section 119A consisted of three elements. First, each state must establish and maintain a system of local government. Second, local government bodies must be elected in accordance with the laws of the relevant state. Third, local government bodies are empowered to administer, and make by-laws for, their respective areas in accordance with the laws of the relevant state.

* This article has been developed from a technical briefing paper prepared for the Australian Local Government Association and an article coauthored with Nicola McGarrity entitled ‘Recognition of Local Government in the Commonwealth Constitution’ (2010) 21 Public Law Review 164.

the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012 • 7

leading edge local government

Any institutional recognition of local government will likely start with the requirement that there must be a system of local government in every state. The question, however, is what else should be involved in institutional recognition of local government in the Commonwealth Constitution. The South African Constitution provides a possible model. Chapter 7 – entitled ‘Local Government’ – contains 14 sections and deals with the following issues, among others: (a) the status of municipalities as the local sphere of government; (b) the objects of local government; (c) cooperation between the tiers of government – national, provincial and local – and the right of municipalities to be consulted on legislation that affects their status, institutions, power or functions; (d) the establishment of municipalities; (e) the powers and functions of municipalities; (f) composition, election, membership qualifications and terms of municipal councils; and (g) the internal procedures of municipal councils. Australia’s states have tended to oppose even minimal institutional recognition of local government in the Constitution. Their support would be even harder to gain for a long and substantive alteration such as this. Nevertheless, the South African Constitution indicates a range of areas that could (and should) be considered for inclusion in the Australian Constitution.

Financial recognition Section 96 of the Constitution states that the Commonwealth ‘may grant financial assistance to any state on such terms and conditions as the Parliament thinks fit’. This section does not permit the Commonwealth to give direct financial assistance to local government. It does, however, provide a means by which assistance can be provided to local government via the states. Section 81 of the Constitution allows the Commonwealth to make appropriations from the Consolidated Revenue Fund ‘for the purposes of the Commonwealth’. These appropriations must be made in accordance with a valid law passed by the federal Parliament. This section has been used by the Commonwealth to make payments directly to local government for particular functions (such as under the Roads to Recovery Program). A recent High Court decision has called into question the direct payment of money to local government under section 81. The 2009 case of Pape v Federal Commissioner of Taxation concerned one-off bonus payments made to millions of taxpayers. The High Court unanimously held that

8 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012

such expenditure had to be supported by a separate grant of legislative or executive power in the Commonwealth Constitution. The bonus was upheld only because it fell within such power. Pape has implications for direct federal funding of local government. It leaves such funding (past, present and future) susceptible to constitutional challenge. This is because, in order to make an appropriation from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, the Commonwealth must now be able to identify a specific source of power for that appropriation in the Constitution. Of course, local government has long been regarded as a state matter – it is far from clear whether the Commonwealth has any general power over the sector. If it does not, the High Court decision means that there are limits upon what money the Commonwealth can provide directly to local government. It is now arguable that programs like Roads to Recovery are invalid and must cease. The answer will only finally be known if the issue is resolved in the High Court in the years to come. There is a strong argument for removing the legal uncertainty over direct federal funding of local government. This could be achieved by way of a straightforward amendment to the Constitution. Section 96 could be amended to state that the Commonwealth ‘may grant financial assistance to any state or local government body on such terms and conditions as the Parliament thinks fit’. This would be a common sense, practical amendment to the Australian Constitution that is needed now. It is an amendment that has a good chance of attracting support from across Australia’s political parties. It is also an amendment that, with such support and a smart campaign run by local government, could win at a referendum. In our Federation, the purse strings are controlled by the Commonwealth. Unless it is prepared to provide all needed money to local government via the states, a source of direct federal funding is essential. Indeed, it can be argued that recognition of local government by way of preserving direct federal funding is a crucial means of ensuring the future of key community services such as child-care facilities and roads. By this means, the referendum could be a chance to both recognise local government in the Constitution, and to remind Australians of the value of the services provided by local government, and the desirability of ensuring long-term funding support for them.

Pave your way to a lower carbon footprint Specication for Supply of Recycled Material for Pavements, Earthworks and Drainage This new specication reects a growing awareness within the civil construction industry of the need to conserve natural resources and the economic value of using recycled materials. Concrete, brick and asphalt are valuable recyclable materials. The specication provides the technical and legal requirements for their recovery and reuse and details new design performance criteria for placement of pavement and recycled pavement materials. At the same time it highlights the social and environmental benets that ow from recycling. IPWEA NSW is introducing a Certicate IV in The Use of Recycled Materials in Civil Construction in 2011.

9 • the australian local government environment yearbook 2011/2012

The benets: • • • • • • •

cost effective recycling preventing loss of natural resources decrease in carbon emissions preventing environmental degradation provides clear technical and legal requirements ensuring development is ecologically sustainable promoting international best practice.

For a copy of the new guide visit: or email

leading edge edge local local government government

A little bit about us About 7-Eleven 7-Eleven Stores Pty. Ltd. is an Australian owned private company. In 1977 the first 7-Eleven convenience store was introduced to Australians and is now Australia’s first choice in convenience with hundreds of stores across the eastern seaboard. Our doors are always open. We pride ourselves on providing the community with fast, friendly service in a clean, safe environment. We are home to the world famous Slurpee, munch fresh food and a whole host of other products and services. 7-Eleven has over 620** stores with over 450** 7-Eleven fuel sites including selected Mobil outlets across New South Wales, ACT, Victoria and Queensland. The 7-Eleven Fuel Card provides you with loads of great benefits! Every 7-Eleven Fuel Card customer receives a discount on their fuel purchase* every time they use the card. The more fuel you purchase, the more you save on every litre. These standard discount bands are allocated to all accounts based on the average litres purchased through your account per year. To find out more about how this is determined for your account, please call our customer service centre. 7-Eleven Fuel Card is cost effective and convenient • There’s no joining fee and no annual or monthly account fees. With the 7-Eleven Fuel Card, your only expense will be a small transaction fee of only 35¢ each time you use your card.^ • With the 7-Eleven Fuel Card you won’t be locked into any contracts, making joining our program a simple and convenient choice for businesses. • With over 450** 7-Eleven fuel sites and selected Mobil outlets across New South Wales, ACT, Victoria and Queensland; there’s plenty of locations to choose from when you need to re-fuel. For a full list of store locations, please visit 7-Eleven Fuel Card is flexible to your needs A range of products is available for purchase using the 7-Eleven Fuel Card. These are in groups or you can pick and choose based on your needs. • Fuel Only* (discount applies to all fuel except LPG) – Unleaded, premium unleaded, diesel, LPG and more • Fuel & Vehicle Expenses – All above, oils & car wash • All – All above & 7-Eleven Shop

theaustralian australianlocal localgovernment governmentinFrastructure INFRASTRUCTUREyearbook yearbook2011/2012 2011/2012 X10• •the

A flexible range of different card types are available to help restrict or enable usage for your individual cardholders. • Driver Only card – Driver name is embossed on your card and a signature panel is used for security. • Vehicle Only card – Vehicle registration is embossed on your card and used for security • Driver and Vehicle card – Driver name and vehicle registration are embossed on your card. A signature is required for validation in conjunction with your vehicle registration 7-Eleven Fuel Card allows for simple administration • With 7-Eleven Fuel Card you get up to 44 payment free days and the convenience of a number of payment methods. This includes direct debit, or you can choose to receive an invoice on your statement. • On your statement you’ll find all the information you need. Look for odometer readings, litres purchased and fuel consumption. • Managing your account is simple with online access available to you anytime. With a 24 hour web self service you can view, change or update your account and cardholder details and view your transactions, just log on at • Helping make administration and management of your account even simpler, you are also able to access optional ATO approved reports including: FBT statements,^ Quarterly BAS statements,^ Annual Tax summary^ and Email Exception Reporting.^ Notes * Does not include LPG. ^ Other fees for optional services apply. ** Store numbers as at 07.06.2011.

Fill up on savings. Save 4¢ per litre on fuel* for your business for the first 3 months, with ongoing discounts.

Go to or call 1300 711 711 The 7-Eleven Fuel Card is a credit facility provided by Wright Express Australia Pty Ltd (ABN 68 005 970 570), a specialist supplier to the payment industry and the largest multi branded fuel card operator in Australia. *Does not include LPG.

green buildings

A reflection of the environment in Cairns By Lea Guy A maze of walking paths weaving through a spectacular rainforest setting in the heart of the Wet Tropics demands an infrastructure presence that is minimal yet functional.


hat is what has been achieved at the Cairns Botanic Gardens, where the newly constructed visitors’ centre reflects its natural rainforest surrounds – quite literally. A mirrored exterior effectively hides the structure amongst the trees, perfectly encasing a solar-powered complex designed with sustainability in mind. Water is the Cairns region’s most valuable resource, and the new visitors’ centre will make every drop count. The building has its own stormwater harvesting system, which feeds rainwater back into the building for nonpotable use. Low water usage plumbing and fittings will further conserve water, and recycled water from Council’s sewage treatment plant is planned for irrigation of the gardens in the future. Normally an essential feature of buildings in the tropics, air-conditioning has become almost redundant through a range of measures. The design incorporates natural ventilation corridors, and airflow in offices can be controlled through use of louvres and fans. All windows are sun-shaded and solar-treated to reduce heat inside the building, and abundant covered outdoor areas – including an amphitheatre – will encourage the use of open spaces. When it comes to flicking a light switch, the complex is entirely self-sufficient. The roof is adorned with 104 solar panels, which send abundant supplies of renewable electricity through the circuits of the visitors’ centre and return leftover supply to the energy grid. The 20-kilowatt system will generate the equivalent energy usage of five to six average homes a day. Low-energy light fittings further reduce the demand for electricity, allowing a greater amount of green energy to be fed back into the energy grid. However, it is the exterior that most effectively highlights the desire to avoid any major impact on the natural environment. The façade features more than 2400 hand12 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012

cut stainless steel composite panels that reflect the natural surrounds and render the structure almost invisible. The design is the creation of local architect Charles Wright, whose brief was to produce a structure that was inspired by the tropics. ‘We wanted something that was aesthetically pleasing but not intrusive, with features that matched the guidelines of Council’s Climate Change Strategy,’ Mayor Val Schier explained. ‘Charles has exceeded our expectations in his approach to this design, and given us a building that will become an icon of our region.’ Councillor Schier said sustainability was at the heart of every new council development. ‘This building has now become the benchmark by which we will compare other projects,’ she said. Council is currently developing a sustainable design policy and checklist for all new and retrofitted council buildings. The visitors’ centre ticks the boxes for six key areas of the Draft Building Design Policy, being to reduce the environmental impacts of constructing, renovating and operating council buildings; reduce operational costs; demonstrate leadership to the community by adopting and promoting sustainable building design suitable for the region’s tropical climate; improve energy efficiency; reduce reliance on non-renewable electricity; and provide a healthy indoor environment in council buildings.

Interested in preserving your local wartime heritage? The Saluting Their Service commemorations program offers modest grants to assist local communities to honour the service and sacrifice of Australia’s veterans. The program is designed to help preserve our heritage from wars and conflicts and encourage community participation in commemorative events. A wide range of community projects may be supported including: • establishing or refurbishing community war memorials; • restoring vandalised memorials; • restoring and publicly displaying wartime memorabilia; and • commemoration of significant anniversaries of battles and other military operations. Local councils, schools and community groups such as historical societies and ex-service organisations can apply for grants through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Application forms and funding guidelines available from the DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS’ AFFAIRS on: 133 254 – metropolitan callers 1800 555 254 – non-metropolitan callers Website:

green buildings

Local governments on a GREEN STAR JOURNEY By Robin Mellon, Executive Director, Advocacy and International, Green Building Council of Australia When the City of Melbourne opened the doors of Council House 2 (affectionately known as CH2) in August 2006, it became an iconic example of how local governments can lead by example, and why the benefits of green building can extend far beyond a shrinking carbon footprint. CH2 was awarded the first 6 Star Green Star rating for its ‘world leadership’ design and innovation. The City of Melbourne gained local, national and international recognition for its determination to demonstrate why Green Star was good for the environment and even better for the bank balance. The council had faced an accommodation shortage, with staff working in dated office buildings, which, although located close to the Town Hall, were nearing the end of their productive lifespan. Rather than relocate staff to alternative offices, the council embarked on an ambitious plan to construct a new office building that would provide a Council House 2

Robin Mellon

healthy and productive workplace for its occupants, while reducing the building’s impact on the environment. The building’s energy-efficiency and energy-production features, including solar photovoltaic cells and integrated wind turbines for electricity generation, have resulted in an impressive 87 per cent reduction in GHG emissions when compared to buildings of similar size. Even more impressive, perhaps, have been the increases to levels of staff productivity and wellbeing as a result of working in a healthier building. An independent assessment undertaken by CSIRO after the building’s first year of operation found that staff productivity improved by 10.9 per cent – saving the council around $2 million each year. In fact, as former Lord Mayor John So said, ‘CH2 is healthy for people, healthy for business and healthy for Melbourne’. For a number of years, CH2 stood out as a beacon of sustainability. But in the last few years, a growing awareness of climate change and the business benefits of healthier spaces has increased the demand for green buildings. In the commercial real estate sector, a ‘green revolution’ has transformed the built environment, and the vast majority of new buildings are designed and constructed to increasingly high environmental standards. Australia’s Green Star is a world-leading environmental rating system for buildings, and has transformed our nation’s property and construction industry. Since launching Green Star in 2003, the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has certified more than 340 projects, and over 420 more projects are registered to achieve Green Star certification. Green Star has changed the Australian market to such an extent that construction research company, Davis Langdon, has found that ‘the achievement of a high Green Star rating in the new office market has long been continued on page 16

14 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012

green buildings continued from page 14 City of Gosnells Civic Centre

out: ‘We have a commitment of fiscal responsibility to our ratepayers. That’s why we decided to build green.’

perceived by office developers as an essential part of marketing to attract long-term tenants, preserve the value of the office, and provide healthier environments for the building’s occupants.’ As Green Star-rated buildings become more widely seen, design solutions that were once seen as leading edge are rapidly becoming ‘standard’ practice. As Daniel Grollo, Managing Director of one of Australia’s leading property development companies, Grocon, and National President of the Property Council of Australia, has said: ‘If you’re not building Green Star, you’re building in obsolescence.’ Innovative designers and developers continue to push best practice benchmarks and, as a result, Australia leads the world in many green building technologies and applications. The City of Melbourne is not the only council to lead by example. Brisbane City Council has staff located across three Green Star-rated buildings because these buildings attract and retain talented staff and ensure they perform at their peak. The council’s office at Green Square South Tower was the first commercial building in Queensland to be awarded a Green Star rating, and set new benchmarks for sustainable commercial construction within Queensland. From those early demonstrations of leadership by example, local governments are now embracing Green Star as a way to reinforce fiscal responsibility. The City of Gosnells, for instance, has recently achieved a 5 Star Green Star rating for the retrofit of its Civic Centre. The sustainable transformation means the Civic Centre is now futureproofed to withstand tighter environmental legislation and the introduction of a price on carbon. Its energy- and watersaving features will reduce bills, while the improved indoor environmental quality is helping the council attract and retain staff who want to work in a healthy and sustainable workplace. As the project manager at the council, Paul McAllister, says, ‘for an additional cost of three per cent, a sustainable makeover was the only responsible option.’ The council expects a five-year payback period on the extra outlay of $750,000, demonstrating that building green is a smart financial decision. As McAllister points

16 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012

One of the Green Building Council of Australia’s five priorities is to ensure that all levels of government show visionary leadership – which includes achieving Green Star ratings for every building they own, occupy or develop. The state governments of Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and others have mandated Green Star for office buildings that they own or occupy, as well as schools and hospitals in some cases. The Australian Capital Territory Government, for instance, has an ambitious target of all government operations – including schools, hospitals, public transport and emergency services – being carbon neutral by 2020. Seven education facilities in the Australian Capital Territory are either certified or registered to achieve Green Star ratings, including the new Kambah P-10 School and Gungahlin College. These schools not only incorporate environmentally friendly features such as solar passive design, natural ventilation, use of grey water for toilet flushing and underground rainwater storage tanks, but also access to fresh air and natural light, which are proven to improve learning and decrease absenteeism. This investment in green schools will not only improve educational outcomes for the Australian Capital Territory’s students, but also help the people of Canberra to reach this target. While Australia’s governments are embracing sustainability at the individual level, there is much more to be done at the precinct or community level. In March, the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council, of which the GBCA is a member, issued a ‘call to action’ to highlight the urgent need for a federal Minister and Department for Cities and Urban Development to ensure a streamlined, coordinated approach to urban management. There is currently a lack of policy coordination across all levels of government, which includes 45 federal programs and strategies, as well as inconsistently-managed programs across eight states and territories, and more than 560 local governments. While a Minister for Cities may be some way off, the federal government has started to listen to industry’s concerns about the lack of consistency and ‘joined-up’ thinking around urban development. Our Cities, Our Future – A National Urban Policy for a productive, sustainable and liveable future, released in May 2011, sets in place the Australian Government’s objectives and directions for our cities.

green buildings

While a Minister for Cities may be some way off, the federal government has started to listen to industry’s concerns about the lack of consistency and ‘joined-up’ thinking around urban development.

This is the first time that an Australian government has outlined its overarching goals for the nation’s cities and how we will play a role in making them more productive, sustainable and liveable. Speaking at the policy launch, federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, acknowledged that the future of our cities requires national leadership as well as cooperation between all three levels of government, the private sector and the community. Because, as Minister Albanese said, the challenges facing our cities are not purely academic. ‘The time that parents spend in their car getting to and from work instead of at home with their children, whether their neighbourhood has a footy oval or a playground or other social infrastructure, how far they have to travel to get to the doctor, the hospital, and where are their educational opportunities – the local school, TAFE or university: these issues are topical debates in local communities today and increasingly they are moving to the national stage,’ he said. The Green Building Council of Australia has long advocated productivity, sustainability and livability as vital characteristics of our future urban areas, which is why we are leading the Green Star – Communities project.

With financial support from industry and all three levels of government, including Minister Albanese’s own department, the Green Star – Communities rating tool is set to become a national, voluntary framework to support best practice planning, design and construction of communities, precincts and places across Australia. A consistent, long-term, coordinated approach is needed to meet the challenges of transitioning to a lowcarbon economy while maintaining Australians’ high standards of living. In this year’s federal budget, the Australian Government went some way towards developing an integrated strategy for our cities and communities. $160 million in funding was allocated for projects that support urban development, including $29 million earmarked to support the development of sustainable plans for regional and coastal high growth areas, and $20 million allocated to support urban renewal projects. This funding will be able to support a range of local government projects. While we are pleased with this funding, it is just the beginning. Sustainability means so much more than simply ‘being green’. True sustainability requires an integrated strategy for long-term financial, social and environmental benefits across the country.

City of Gosnells Civic Centre

the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012 • 17

green buildings


Cultural Mecca in Cairns

By Vanessa Lahey

Cairns’s cultural and entertainment landscape is muscling up to be one of Australia’s boldest and most beautiful.


n July 2011, Brisbane and Cairns-based architect team CA-COX Rayner unveiled the two final concept designs developed for the proposed Cairns Entertainment Precinct (CEP). The architects led with an explanation that the creative rationale behind the ‘Architectural Rainforest’ and ‘Layered Roofscape’ was inspired by Cairns’s unique environment. The precinct represents Far North Queensland’s biggest and most daring infrastructure project to date, with the total project budget allocated sitting at $240 million. Two-thirds of the project funding is to be committed by the state and federal governments, with the remaining third provided by Cairns Regional Council. The project’s boldness lies not just in the cuttingedge architecture presented in the concept designs, but also in the approach taken to create them. The process through which the CEP project has evolved included hearty consultation with the local community and key stakeholders. Some of the design features that have been incorporated into the plan were provided by many of the area’s residents at numerous face-to-face consultations.

Above: Cairns Entertainment Precinct – the layered roofscape 18 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012

The CEP also aims to achieve a 5 star Green Rating equivalent, demonstrating leadership in the sustainable design of public buildings and placemaking by local government. The development is being treated to achieve high standards of energy efficiency and water conservation, life-cycle analysis for selection of materials, waste minimisation, low greenhouse gas emissions, and an operational plan to maintain the standards for the life of the building.

green buildings

Consideration of the sustainable design strategy will be based on council’s quadruple bottom line, which is made up of the four principles that form the sustainability scorecard – conserving biodiversity; improving resource efficiency; community health and wellbeing; and economy and governance – and Green Star credit criteria. Early considerations in the CEP concept planning process have factored in sustainable design features including: passive ventilation and cooling; rainwater harvesting, recycling and storage; the use of daylighting to reduce the reliance on electricity; measures to minimise solar heat gain; and the utilisation of solar and wind energy, as well as the installation of green roofs and walls. Giving impetus to a venture of such enormity is local knowledge, backed by hard facts, that the Wet Tropics desperately needs a new venue for its artisans, a home for its heritage whilst playing to one of the area’s main strengths, which is its natural environment. Since the mid1990s, the local council had recognised the need for a new performing arts and cultural centre in the region, given that the existing Civic Theatre (with 660 seats), built around 35 years ago, was losing viability as the population grew. Council was also acutely aware that other venues in Cairns, such as TANKS Arts Centre and the JUTE and Rondo theatres, provided unique facilities but with limited functionality due to technical and environmental-control conditions. So, after much consultation, business planning and feasibility analysis, it was decided that the best way forward was the development of a new performing arts centre and regional museum.

The decision to forge ahead with planning for the precinct was underpinned by Council’s Cultural Plan, which outlined the need to ‘be a vibrant, progressive, and collaborative community, working together to achieve greater local, national and international recognition for the unique and culturally diverse artistic excellence of the region and its distinctive, tropical lifestyle’. Inside these two lavishly ornate yet cyclone-proof buildings is more or less an identical internal landscape and site specifications. Each of the proposed concept designs includes; • a 1000-seat theatre with full fly-tower, orchestra pit and latest technology; • a 450-seat studio theatre with flexible staging and seating arrangements; • a rehearsal room equivalent to theatre stage; • a community hub with meeting, practice and training facilities; and • provision for a regional museum.

It is hoped that early site works for the Cairns Entertainment Precinct will begin after the wet season in 2012 (dependent on available funding) and the overall project is scheduled to be concluded in 2015. For more information on the CEP, visit

Cairns Entertainment Precinct – the architectural rainforest

the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012 • 19

best practice

A sustainable future FOR COCKBURN The City of Cockburn, a major coastal city south of Perth, has been named a winner in the 2011 National Awards for Local Government for its work in climate change and sustainability.


he awards recognise local government innovation in a variety of fields. Across the nation, 152 entries were received, and 17 winners were chosen across 10 categories. City of Cockburn Mayor, Logan Howlett, said the City of Cockburn made a commitment in 1996 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and has since developed a wellrounded sustainability and climate change program. ‘Each year, the City commits more than $650,000 to invest in renewable energy systems, research, new technology, policy and community engagement,’ Mayor Howlett said. Since 2001, the City has been able to abate approximately 330,000 tonnes of CO2. ‘Innovations include installation of 340 solar photovoltaic panels over six community buildings with live energy data available online via our Cockburn Virtual Power Station,’ Mayor Howlett said. ‘The City’s waste management initiatives include partnering to capture gas from landfill, a recycle shop and introduction of weekly recycling.’ In just seven weeks, weekly recycling reduced green-bin waste by 387 tonnes and increased yellow-top bin waste by 265 tonnes across the City.

A solar-powered community in Bibra Lake

‘Community engagement is also a key focus, with grants supporting sustainable living choices, free advice and courses on water and energy consumption, a new website featuring a virtual tour of a sustainable home, competitions, eco-fashion workshops, displays and much more,’ Mayor Howlett said. ‘Overwhelming community response indicates local commitment to sustainable living. ‘This award demonstrates the important leadership role local government can play in community climate change action, and the City is pleased aspects of our programs are being adopted by other councils.’

Green homes The City of Cockburn has also recently launched a Sustainable Online Home, where you can take a virtual tour of a real home and learn the key principles of sustainable design. Visitors can find out how to save money by reducing water and energy use, reduce their carbon footprint and access a wide range of local suppliers.

20 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012

best practice

Mayor Howlett said the ‘e-home’ is just one part of the City’s award-winning program in climate change and sustainability. ‘Whether you’re building a new home, or renovating an existing one, check out the website for ideas to include in your plans,’ Mayor Howlett said. ‘Each year, it’s estimated that Australian houses produce more than 105 million tonnes of greenhouse gas,’ he said. ‘People with sustainable homes play an important part in reducing these emissions and save hundreds of dollars every year.’ With just a few easy clicks, you can navigate your way through the virtual home and learn about its sustainable features such as cross-ventilation, natural floor coverings, energy-efficient lighting and appliances, native vegetation, water tanks and vegetable gardens. To view the Sustainable Online Home visit This project is a result of a partnership with the City of Mandurah.

Wind-mapping Cockburn residents and businesses can now access local wind data online. This will help community members to consider the suitability of a small wind turbine to generate clean, green and cheaper energy. City of Cockburn has mapped local wind data at 204 sites in partnership with Murdoch University.

Local children at Coogee Beach

‘Overwhelming community response indicates local commitment to sustainable living. This award demonstrates the important leadership role local government can play in community climate change action.’ The mapping shows average wind speeds across Cockburn – which range from four to five metres per second – and offers detailed wind data per site, working from a one-kilometre square grid. Data includes: • the range of expected wind speeds; • how frequently wind blows at particular speeds; • how frequently wind blows from each direction; and • h ow frequently wind blows at a speed suitable for turbines. Mayor Howlett said the wind mapping program is part of the City’s commitment to action on climate change. ‘The City’s Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Strategy will see the City increase its investment in renewable energy on community buildings, making Cockburn the leading local government in Western Australia for renewable energy,’ Mayor Howlett said.

To access the interactive wind mapping system, wind data and the Virtual Power Station visit: To learn more about the City’s sustainability initiatives, visit Environmental Officer Linda Metz

the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012 • 21

fall protection ++ pedestrian pedestrian safety safety

Taking the pain out of OHS compliance

Sayfa Systems has the answer


ayfa Systems (Sayfa) is a leading Australian Height Safety, Access and Fall Protection manufacturer and distributor. Dedicated to adhering to stringent Australian requirements, Sayfa is proactive in promoting and developing higher operational standards in the height safety industry. The organisation rightly prides itself on making it easy for local government agencies to deliver their services to their communities while protecting its subcontractors and maintenance crews working at its facilities. Sayfa supports and promotes a set of guidelines and procedures for designing and determining safety requirements based on specific applications for all Access and Fall Protection systems. This includes the application of the Hierarchy of Controls’ five levels that sets out the order of control measures. Demystifying the hierarchy of controls Level 1: Undertake work on ground or solid construction A solid construction must have structural strength to support people and materials (e.g. platform or scaffold), a non-slip surface free from trip hazards, safe access and egress, that could be provided by a ladder or stairway. Level 2: Undertake work using passive fall protection Passive fall protection device includes height safety systems that once installed, don’t need to be altered – e.g. fixed or mobile scaffolds, guardrails, walkways. Sayfa offers a comprehensive range of passive fall protection systems that deliver the highest levels of height safety and full compliance for all states and councils.

This last resort for working safely at height encompasses ladders and procedures, or administrative controls. Importantly, these are equally poor ways to control the risk of a fall. The Code details the correct use of ladders and outlines the need for stringent documentation of administrative controls. The bottom line Aside from meeting your obligations, it is good business to install the higher level controls like guardrails and walkways wherever possible rather than relying on fall prevention and fall arrest systems. Simple, low maintenance systems like guardrails are less costly over their lifetimes, require little training to use and allow a broader spectrum of workers to do the job safely. Implementing Sayfa Systems’ range of guardrails (Sentry), skylight protectors (Protex) and walkways (OnTrak, Pace 600) ensures the highest level of safety while reducing the more costly and training intensive harnessbased height safety systems. For many years, Sayfa has worked with councils in implementing guardrails and walkways to keep the costs down in the areas of height safety and access. Sayfa’s turnkey workplace height safety methodology Sayfa understands the importance of quality compliant systems with the organisation dedicating over 15 per cent of its expense budget to R&D. In supporting the Hierarchy of Controls, Sayfa has developed a methodology that delivers proven success and safety to all our clients. We call it The Sayfa Way.

Level 3: Undertake work using work positioning system Work positioning systems prevent workers falling over an unprotected edge and include a fall arrest harness attached via a lanyard to a roof anchor or static linen anchorage system. Because their effectiveness depends heavily on the skill of the user and correct equipment maintenance, both users and their supervisors must undertake competencybased training before implementing level 3 safeguards. Level 4: Undertake work using fall injury prevention system Fall injury prevention systems are fundamentally different to work positioning systems. While work positioning systems limit the fall from occurring, level 4 controls merely minimise the distance of the fall or injury sustained in the event of a fall. All fall arrest systems MUST be installed by people with specialist technical skills and workers using Individual Fall Arresting Systems (IFAS) must also be suitably trained. Level 5: Undertake work from ladders, or implement controls

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fall protection ++ pedestrian pedestrian safety safety

Moddex works closely with councils

Ensuring safety without compromising style


oddex has been working closely with councils and local government throughout Australia in their initiatives with regard to community safety in parklands, streets, retail and commercial precincts, recreational facilities and public buildings. The Moddex range of modular balustrade, handrail, guardrail and barrier systems is increasingly being recognised as the leading solution for safety of pedestrians as well as property due to its unique design and features. Servicing both city and regional councils, Moddex is being embraced by various departments including building, infrastructure, parks and garden, water and operations to meet their safety obligations. The Moddex range can be seen in an increasing number of councils in such applications as, access ramps, educational and recreational facilities, retaining walls, foot bridges, culverts, carparks and bike paths. Meeting council imperatives ‘We have been told that Moddex is being selected as the provider of choice due to a variety of reasons,’ said Alvin Rowland, General Manager of Sentaur, one of Moddex’s national distributors. ‘Because the products are modular and flat packed, not only are delivery costs lower than for traditional handrailing products, they can be stored in council depots. The fact that the systems require no welding to be installed, no toxic fumes or hot works permits are needed, saving time and money. The added bonus is councils can use their own staff for the installation due to the simple installation process. The vandal proof systems, full compliance, unlimited configurations and structural

integrity are additional features that attract councils to Moddex.’ Moddex balustrading and handrailing is the culmination of extensive innovation, engineering and testing. All products are durable and user friendly offering proven safety and cost saving benefits at the point of installation. Being fully modular, no welding or fabrication is needed resulting in the market’s most rapid and easily installed galvanised guardrail system requiring no specialist trades or tools. Additionally, Moddex eliminates the disadvantages of traditional welded systems, providing high corrosion resistance handrails that can be supplied in a range of paint finishes to suit any application. Newly implemented Australian Standards for disability handrails enforced The Australian Standard AS 1428.1-2009, for disability access, was implemented on 1 May, 2011. Today, councils must ensure that access to their buildings as well as pedestrian protection and access in parklands and recreational facilities comply not only with aesthetics but also the relevant Australian Standards, OHS and regulatory requirements. Moddex’s Assistrail™ range of Standards compliant disability handrails meets all access and mobility requirements. The range of galvanised fittings suitable for stairs, ramps and walkways meet all Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) requirements and building regulations, offering the right solution for ramps, stairways, pathways and walkways for all council projects. No onsite welding, no toxic fumes, unlimited and versatile configurations, flush connection components and smooth, streamlined handrails are just some of the reasons these handrails are being installed throughout council properties and open areas. The system is ideally used as a retrofit solution for an upgrade to an existing building. Due to Assistrail’s add-on components, a new handrail can be added onto an existing railing system to ensure compliance.

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administration + corporate management


Is there a role for the private sector? By John Ravlic, Chief Executive, Local Government Managers Australia Local government is faced with an infrastructure backlog that may now be in the vicinity of $20 billion. The backlog, coupled with demand for services, facilities and infrastructure fuelled by growing communities resulting from higher birth rates, migration and baby boomer retirements, will continue to place financial pressures on local government. The tight financial position of Commonwealth and state governments will increasingly force local governments to turn their heads towards private sector investment and capital markets.

Introduction Whilst public private partnerships (PPPs) may go some way to answering our sector’s infrastructure financing problems, there aren’t many councils with sufficient scale and volume of projects to warrant implementation of PPPs. If local government is going to engage with the private sector to raise funds, it must aggregate council projects and promote these project packages to the private sector for investment. Whilst the sector’s financial sustainability has been questioned, there haven’t been any local government failures or defaults. On the surface, this would indicate that local government is a fairly safe investment. There is no shortage of local government projects that need funding. Everything from roads, water and sewerage to community facilities is in immediate need of attention. Whilst local governments in the United States have been issuing municipal bonds for decades, this hasn’t been used in Australia as an instrument to raise private sector funding for local government. There are existing models of local government aggregation operating at the state level, which result in cheaper borrowings and provision of greater financial expertise to the sector. The same model could be extended at the national level to incorporate the raising of private sector funds through issuance of municipal bonds. Establishing a national authority that would issue municipal bonds on behalf of local government nationally and act as an aggregator and promoter of local government projects for private sector investment is a key strategy that should be explored to enable local government to meet its infrastructure obligations.

Infrastructure round-up One recurrent theme at the recent LGMA National Congress held in Cairns was that of infrastructure, which not only had its own stream in the concurrent sessions, but also cropped up in a number of keynote addresses.

26 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012

administration + corporate management

Lindsay Tanner explained why extracting money for infrastructure maintenance can be particularly difficult: ‘you can’t open maintenance.’

Lindsay Tanner

You can’t open maintenance Former Federal Finance Minister, Lindsay Tanner, confirmed that it’s always about the money – and that politicians can be reluctant to commit money to infrastructure unless they get the kudos for the project involved. Tanner also explained why extracting money for infrastructure maintenance can be particularly difficult: ‘you can’t open maintenance.’

interest, with aggregation of projects across a number of councils a possible solution. Tanner also questioned the current ability of smaller councils to manage the intricacies of PPPs. Private sector involvement

Public private partnerships As for a solution to funding Australia’s infrastructure backlog, Tanner urged greater involvement by the private sector and, having undertaken considerable study of PPPs, he commended the model as ‘quite rational’ despite some high-profile problems in the past. Benefits he cited included PPPs’ status as a type of insurance contract that spreads the risks associated with large projects. Tanner also noted that councils other than those the size of Brisbane would have to think creatively to overcome ‘lack of scale’ problems if they are to attract investor

Michael Deegan

Michael Deegan, Infrastructure Australia’s Infrastructure Coordinator also spoke of the need for a more strategic approach to infrastructure planning and development, confirming that involvement of the private sector is essential at a time of tight state and federal budgets. While Deegan has no fixed view of PPPs or other private sector involvement with councils, he said, ‘it’s the sort of dialogue I’d like to have with the people in this room (local government practitioners), to talk about the art of the possible and whether there are better ways of trying to tackle (the infrastructure) task.’ Adding value Stephen Mayne, journalist and local government councillor, also entered the fray. He argued that there is little value and no economy of scale in taking the ‘dribble’ approach to projects that need a greater spend at the outset to achieve subsequent value and savings. For this reason, he agreed that greater use of PPPs is essential, but also indicated that they should be more about bringing value and expertise into local government and not just about shifting risk. Learnings Greg Campbell, Partner with Maddocks, said that local government’s experience in public private partnerships over recent years provided valuable learning for future local the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012 • 27

administration + corporate management Brian Dollery

sustainability: • The South Australian Financial Sustainability Review Board Report (FSRB) (2005) Rising to the Challenge; • the Independent Inquiry into the Financial Sustainability of NSW Local Government (‘Allan Inquiry’) (2006) Are Councils Sustainable?; government partnerships with the private sector. Campbell says that failed projects and less-than-optimal experiences with public private partnerships provide some explanation for the low take-up of PPPs by local government. The following learnings are of particular note: • lack of scale; • no appetite for innovation or risk; • inadequate assessment and transfer of risks; • lack of skills and experience; and • inadequate contracts. Financial sustainability Professor Brian Dollery, Director, Centre for Local Government (UNE) (see article page 135) argued the case for the creation of a local government bond authority as a method for raising the funds needed to tackle Australian local government’s infrastructure backlog. Dollery referred to a host of state-based inquiries that conclusively demonstrated that a great many councils across all state jurisdictions face daunting problems with financial

By far the greatest source of financial stress seems to reside in ensuring adequate local infrastructure provision and maintenance.

• the Queensland Local Government Association’s (LGAQ) (2006) Size, Shape and Sustainability (SSS) program; • the Western Australian Local Government Association Report (WALGA) (2006) Systemic Sustainability Study: In Your Hands – Shaping the Future of Local Government in Western Australia; and • the Tasmanian Local Government Association Report (LGAT) (2007) A Review of the Financial Sustainability of Local Government in Tasmania. The PricewaterhouseCoopers Report (PWC) (2006) National Financial Sustainability Study of Local Government established that financial distress was common in all Australian local government jurisdictions. By far the greatest source of financial stress seems to reside in ensuring adequate local infrastructure provision and maintenance. In this vein, Dollery says the main burden of financial distress has been borne by deferred local infrastructure maintenance and renewal. This has led in turn to a massive local infrastructure backlog. Immediate need Everything from local roads and water and sewerage networks to the local community hall appears in need of immediate and expensive attention in numerous jurisdictions. Dollery says that these pressures have been compounded by recent flood damage across several states. Given the magnitude of the local infrastructure financial crisis, and the pressing need to address the problem in a cost-effective and sustainable manner, Dollery suggests that the question deserves urgent attention of policy-makers, practitioners and scholars alike. Municipal securities Dollery says that a possible funding solution to the local infrastructure problem centres on the issuance of assetbacked securities by local government into capital markets, along the lines of similar longstanding arrangements in American local government finance. Dollery argues that Australian local government already has access to a continued on page 30

28 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012

Wakefield Planning knows complex projects and knows government. With experience ranging from desalination plants for artesian spa water disposal to waste management facilities and harbour redevelopments we can assist with the coordination and delivery of complex projects. We understand the language of specialists not only within your own organisation but in other consulting firms and specialist advisors. Wakefield Planning Director, Angus Witherby, has worked in and out of the local government sector for 30 years and has conducted work in all states and territories. He was Director of the Centre for Local Government at the University of New England before joining private practice and can bring to the table a deep understanding of local government operations and dynamics. He can advise on organisational structure within your council, or how to work co-operatively and collaboratively with other local councils, state agencies and private sector providers to enhance efficiency. Wakefield Planning can advise on probity and due diligence issues, and ensure that organisational and operational arrangements within your council work well to minimise your risk rather than work against you. We have conducted sensitive assignments for councils involving allegations of corruption and malpractice, including reviews of senior staff, and Ombudsman investigations. As well as our other skills Wakefield Planning provides skilled town planning input to assist with your project. We can peer review applications prepared by your staff for your own development, or undertake full external evaluations on your behalf. Contact us to discuss your needs.

Angus Witherby Director

3/92 Chute St Mordialloc VIC 3195 03 9588 1998

administration + corporate management

continued from page 28

relatively attractive asset in the form of rates and charges, which could form an income stream payable on a fixed income security issued by the Australian local government sector. In the United States, state and municipal governments have a long history of issuing debt instruments in order to raise funds for both general obligations and project finance. Dollery says that the American experience of fundraising using municipal securities has not been without its problems. Most recently, the global financial crisis has severely afflicted the municipal bond market and a large number of American local government entities will default, involving billions of dollars. Indeed, some observers fear that the magnitude of this default may be sufficient to trigger a second global financial crisis. Important lessons emerge from the American experience for Australian local government. Various safeguards would have to be put in place to prevent market instability of the kind now afflicting the American municipal bond market, says Dollery. Local government finance authority The most important safeguard would be the creation of an independent national finance authority to run local government borrowing through bonds backed by default guarantees by state and federal governments. Dollery proposes this entity as a conduit between local councils and capital lenders by issuing bonds collectively for councils, thereby providing lower-cost finance stemming from the aggregation of risk across many councils. It would also provide the financial and legal expertise that individual local authorities presently lack, which would provide further certainty to borrowers and lenders alike. South Australian model The Local Government Finance Authority of South Australia fulfils many of the municipal borrowing functions in that state. The Authority was established under the Local Government Finance Authority Act 1983 and it is managed and administered by a Board of Trustees. The functions of the Authority are to develop and implement borrowing and investment programs for the benefit of local councils and prescribed local government bodies. The South Australian model has not been taken up by other state jurisdictions, nor has it been used to issue municipal bonds. The adoption of the South Australian Finance Authority model by other states would go some way towards achieving economies of scale and cheaper loans.

30 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012

It’s going to be very difficult for Australian local government to generate market interest when it’s only processing a handful of projects a year. The greater the market confidence in the sector, the greater will be the participation of market leaders in local government projects. Conclusion It’s going to be very difficult for Australian local government to generate market interest when it’s only processing a handful of projects a year. The greater the market confidence in the sector, the greater will be the participation of market leaders in local government projects. Marginal projects will only attract marginal players and jeopardise the long-term viability of local government projects and our sector’s participation in the capital markets. The proposed Local Government Finance Authority at the national level could take on the role of issuing municipal securities and performing the expert role of aggregating, packaging and promoting local government projects for private sector investment in the form of PPPs. The other major contribution the proposed authority could make is through innovation – pursuing ideas and developing new investment vehicles that would see private sector funds being utilised for the provision of community infrastructure. The authority would also have a significant role in lifting our sector’s financial literacy. For our sector to work effectively in the financial markets, it will require greater financial literacy. These would be value-added roles to the sector, which may consider establishing state-based finance authorities to aggregate their borrowing to achieve better rates. The sector’s participation in the financial markets will go some way to enabling councils to meet their infrastructure obligations.

urban planning + development – urban + regional development infrastructure

Our infrastructure crisis REQUIRES A BOLD RETHINK By Phillip O’Neill, Director, Urban Research Centre, University of Western Sydney We don’t notice infrastructure on a good day. Your shower is hot, you arrive at work without fuss and everyone else is on time, your building looks clean and feels good, your computer runs quickly, water flows clear into your glass and tastes crisp, your phone doesn’t drop out, the spare printing cartridges are delivered on time, and your utilities bills are unexceptional.


nfrastructure is a powerful idea. Infrastructure comprises all the passages and pathways that connect a city: the roads, pavements, rail lines, pipes, poles, cables, grids, waterways, frequency spectrums and towers that enable the movement of people, freight, water, energy, waste and information through space. Infrastructure works best when this movement is quick and uninterrupted. Not surprisingly, urban economies flounder when infrastructure is poor. Assembling a workforce every day becomes a nightmare. Accessing supply chains, communicating with customers and delivering goods and services is frustrating and unnecessarily costly. So too the quality and sustainability of urban life suffers when infrastructure isn’t up to scratch. Unreliable, congested, out-of-date infrastructure services are expensive, timeconsuming, energy inefficient, and frustrating. Good infrastructure can’t guarantee great urban life, but it can easily bring a good city down. Getting infrastructure right is difficult for four reasons. First, infrastructure is a unique class of property. Rather than being a piece of ground with a fixed address and measurable dimensions, infrastructure traverses fixed property assets, or it creates an entirely new property form, like a sea passage, an air route or a transmission spectrum. Second, infrastructure usually involves big, unusual material objects like motorways, transmission towers or seaside ports. Third, infrastructure is usually expensive to construct and maintain. And fourth, infrastructure has to be managed sensitively, often because it has monopoly characteristics meaning it can be operated in ways that benefit some users unfairly over others. A tolled motorway, for instance, might be operated in a way that ruins the coherence of a local neighbourhood. Likewise, a telecommunications operator might minimise coverage to a poor neighbourhood where revenue opportunities are limited. These characteristics also mean that infrastructure has slow establishment periods, and long life cycles; and they also mean that infrastructure provision invariably involves cross-government interaction.

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This recent history tells us three things about what governments can no longer do. One is that governments no longer hold the expertise to design and run our urban infrastructure systems. Second, our governments do not have the capacity to fund new infrastructure from budget surpluses. Third, our governments are not good at picking infrastructure winners. In the decades following the Great Depression and the Second World War, coordination between governments over infrastructure was relatively easy because infrastructure was generally seen as the responsibility of governments and their public sector agencies. Roads, railways, ports, airfields, even airlines and shipping companies, were government-instigated, owned and operated. Funding and coordination by governments, while bureaucratic, were taken on instinctively. State governments in particular set up utilities to design, build and operate key infrastructure, and these utilities became home to a vast corps of expert engineers and operators. The surprising thing is how long this ensemble of statemonopoly infrastructure survived; say, six decades? But stage one of the privatisation of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in 1991 was the marker of dramatic change to the ensemble, even though the CBA itself was never a pure infrastructure asset. Nevertheless, infrastructure provision has not been the same since. The following year, then Victorian premier Jeff Kennett sold off the Victorian electricity generation and transmission system. Then the state insurance companies and banks were sold, then Qantas and Telstra, and assorted parts of the infrastructure portfolio continuously thereafter. Unfortunately, the consequences of the privatisation of Australian infrastructure were never adequately analysed as the sell-off unfolded. But I think we need to unpack what happened in order to resolve the infrastructure crisis we find ourselves in today. Historical context always matters. The key economic context of the sell-off period of the 1990s was prosperity, perhaps the longest period of high economic growth ever experienced in Australia’s history. Prosperity gave John Howard’s Coalition government consistent, large budget surpluses. These enabled treasurer Peter Costello to pay off the entire federal government debt, down from $96 billion in 1996 to zero by 2007. The prosperity years also made it easier politically for the Howard-Costello regime to sell off Australia’s most valuable asset, Telstra, and steer the proceeds of the sale to a Future Fund to meet public service superannuation liabilities. This Future Fund is now valued at a whopping $75 billion.

32 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012

Yet the Howard-Costello savings binge left state and local governments around Australia strapped for infrastructure cash, although few have yet acknowledged this important historical link. We should remember in this time of chest-beating mining companies, though, that our services-based urban economies have been generating wealth and prosperity for some time, but that they have been unfairly denied new infrastructure investment. Still, a healthy federal treasury by 2007 enabled a new Rudd Labor government to create a ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development and earmark $40 billion for infrastructure spending. Optimism for new infrastructure grew with the establishment of Infrastructure Australia to oversee the spending. As well, the climate looked right for the federal government to launch a new telecommunications utility, the National Broadband Network, even with a capital bill of $43 billion. But then the global financial crisis hit in 2008. The Rudd Labor government acted promptly with aggressive spending to soften the impacts. Australia came out of the crisis recession-free, but with a bag full of debt. Large federal deficits have returned and they will remain for a few years yet. The deficit was $32 billion in 2008-09 and $53 billion in 2009-10, and is estimated at $55 billion in 2010-11, $42 billion in 2011-12 and $30 billion in 2012-13. Federal debt will reach $150 billion by 2013, which is no small matter. Both Labor and the Coalition have committed to surplus budgets within three years so that this debt can be repaid. So the GFC stripped federal Labor of its capacity, even perhaps its desire, to act in any real way on infrastructure. Question marks grow over the NBN business plan and its one-size-fits-all technology plans. And a timely transition to a low-carbon economy that might come from clever infrastructure design and spending – such as for more intense public transport, integrated freight handling, alternative electricity generation, smart grids, distributed water systems – once again looks bleak. This recent history tells us three things about what governments can no longer do. One is that governments no longer hold the expertise to design and run our urban

urban planning + development – urban + regional development infrastructure

infrastructure systems. Second, our governments do not have the capacity to fund new infrastructure from budget surpluses. Third, our governments are not good at picking infrastructure winners. New ways of attacking the infrastructure problem are needed. At the outset, governments must understand and assert the basic tenets of infrastructure: that successful cities are underpinned by quality infrastructure; that only governments are capable of creating and regulating the property rights that make infrastructure a unique class of assets; and that the success of each and every infrastructure project needs to be measured by its contribution to the productivity and wellbeing of the city as a whole. Successful infrastructure should not be judged solely on the calculation of a net present value (NPV) residual for, say, fees generated by the movement of 30,000 cars through a motorway tunnel. Governments must insist on establishment criteria for new infrastructure projects that ensure not just benefits for paying customers and operating companies, but also complementary productivity gains for a city’s existing infrastructure, and a measurable increase in positive externalities for the city’s businesses and residents and for the environment. Governments, then, must encourage innovative financial solutions to the infrastructure shortfall. It’s perplexing, for instance, that the federal government can engineer the flow of $43 billion to the NBN and $10 billion to a Clean Energy Fund relatively painlessly, yet struggle to find any real money for public transport expansion in the nation’s capital cities. One positive outcome of the global financial crisis was the exposure of the clever synthetic financial products that pooled savings from around the globe and targeted them at high-risk United States mortgage markets. Surely the same brains could create attractive investment products to pool savings in order to harvest the stable, long-term returns of well-designed and well-operated infrastructure systems. Related governments need to break up large infrastructure monopolies, whether public or private, in order to encourage widespread infrastructure innovation and attract the interest of venture capitalists. There has to be a profitable place in a city for novel, small-scale water catchment schemes, innovative electricity generation projects, pooled transport services, and so on. Leaving

Governments must insist on establishment criteria for new infrastructure projects that ensure not just benefits for paying customers and operating companies, but also complementary productivity gains for a city’s existing infrastructure, and a measurable increase in positive externalities for the city’s businesses and residents and for the environment. innovation in the hands of the existing players is not a good idea. Being innovative is always a tough challenge for governments. The objective of governments should be to create regulatory environments for infrastructure provision and operation that enable existing players and prospective players to come forward and have a go, with clear criteria to ensure that each new infrastructure project will make a city a more prosperous, just and sustainable place. For me, the infrastructure crisis has been caused by two decades of cloudy, clumsy thinking. But we can never return to the methods by which we rolled out infrastructure in the 1950s and 1960s. Nor should we continue with privatisation and user-pays models as solutions for the 21st century. Dare I say we need a third way?

Professor Phillip O’Neill is an economic geographer. He is currently working on a major project examining the barriers to effective urban infrastructure provision in Australia’s major cities, funded by the Australian Research Council. The Urban Research Centre conducts research into urban management issues and offers higher degree training through research and coursework programs. Details are available at

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urban planning + development – urban + regional development infrastructure

The National Urban Policy:

its impact on local government and planning strategies in urban areas By Neil Savery, Chair of the Policy Committee, Planning Institute of Australia Earlier this year the federal government released its National Urban Policy – ‘Our Cities, Our Future’ (the Policy), and in so doing announced its re-engagement in the planning and development of Australia’s major urban areas (under the Policy, major urban areas are greater than 100,000 people).


his follows many years of lobbying by industry, nongovernment and government organisations, for the government to take a greater interest in the role cities play in Australia’s economy, the impacts on productivity through under-investment in infrastructure, the implications of government decisions on the performance of cities, and a host of national challenges, including population growth, demographic change, climate change, congestion, housing and affordability. While cities are governed by state, territory and local governments, the federal government is able to significantly influence their development through supporting approaches to strategic planning; managing projects and issues of national significance; understanding the spatial and infrastructure implications of various government policy decisions; and supporting research, education and facilitating knowledge-sharing amongst all tiers of government, industry and the community. The launch of the Policy comes after the establishment of Infrastructure Australia, the Major Cities Unit, the release in 2010 of the State of Australian Cities report, and a commitment by the Council of Australian Governments to report on city strategic planning systems against nine criteria by the end of 2011.

Above and right: The SW1 development (Brisbane), which won the Australia Award for Urban Design 34 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012

It also occurred at the same time as the government released its National Population Strategy, where a direct link is made to population growth being concentrated in the established major urban centres, and in particular meeting future infrastructure needs.

urban planning + development – urban + regional development infrastructure

While cities are governed by state, territory and local governments, the federal government is able to significantly influence their development through supporting approaches to strategic planning. Just prior to the Policy’s launch, the government announced a number of funding initiatives as part of the 2011/12 budget, amounting to $180 million in the forecast period. This included a new tax initiative – the Infrastructure Tax Incentive – to act as an incentive to the private sector to invest in infrastructure, with the aim of attracting $54 billion in the budget out-years. There will be $60 million to fit smart technology to improve existing road systems and $20 million over two years for urban renewal projects under the banner of ‘Liveable Cities’.

Sustainability – to advance the sustainability of Australia’s natural and built environment, including through better resource and risk management.

Whilst there are shortcomings with the work to date, and in particular its application through the jurisdiction of state, territory and local governments, the federal government can be commended for taking this important step towards a more integrated and collaborative approach in planning for the future of our cities. It is important that a national approach to cities be clearly articulated and understood, which requires not only the identification of issues and responses, but new approaches to how to action these, including working with the private sector and effectively engaging with local communities.

The goals, including governance, are supported by a total of 14 objectives and 10 principles, which, through the Policy, the government has committed itself to in respect to all future activities and investments that impact on major cities.

Over time, the Policy will need to evolve to reflect a partnership with other government portfolios that cover regional development, climate change, population and infrastructure, and to this end it needs to be acknowledged that a cross-government taskforce has been established to discuss and coordinate these activities. The Policy also places emphasis on productivity, which, whilst understood, should not be pursued at the expense of social and environmental objectives. Turning to the Policy, it boldly states that it ‘...establishes the first long-term national framework to guide policy development and public and private investment in cities. In establishing the framework, the Australian Government is determined to improve the productivity, sustainability and liveability of our major urban centres.’

Liveability – to enhance the liveability of our cities by promoting better urban design, planning and affordable access to recreational, cultural and community facilities. Governance – provides a framework for the government to support state, territory and local governments to meet their capital city and broader strategic planning objectives.

All those with an interest in the planning and development of Australia’s major urban centres are now engaged in a range of processes that involve interpreting and delivering on aspects of the Policy. This includes local government and in particular how it impacts on the spatial planning of cities. In this respect, the Policy highlights how the Australian economy is substantially dependent on efficient and sustainable cities for positive economic development. In order to achieve this, Australia’s major urban centres will need to adapt in order to successfully embrace a globally focused role as well as their traditional functions. This will involve new approaches to working collaboratively and regionally, and investing in new forms of infrastructure, potentially funded in partnership with the private sector. The Policy encourages new patterns of development, including the promotion of infill and higher density development in strategic locations to reduce growth on the outer edges of cities. Whilst inevitably challenging for many local government areas, this form of development is

This flags the three goals that underpin the Policy, although it should also be noted that governance is cited as a key policy outcome in the form of facilitating and monitoring/evaluating outcomes. Productivity – to harness the productivity of Australia’s people and industry by better managing our use of labour, creativity and knowledge, and land and infrastructure.

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urban planning + development – urban + regional development infrastructure

The SW1 development (Brisbane), which won the Australia Award for Urban Design

occurring through market demand and, if accompanied by investment in a high quality of design for both buildings and the public domain, can help support diverse and vibrant communities with access to local services and make more efficient use of established infrastructure. The promotion of the integration of land use and infrastructure planning within the Policy provides guidance to local authorities on the benefits that accrue through spatial planning arrangements that appropriately consider the interdependencies of land use and infrastructure planning, the impacts on costs of living resulting from excessive infrastructure costs arising through inefficient patterns of development, and better managing the impacts of congestion. At this stage, whilst the Policy places some weight on the need to reduce traffic congestion, it fails to engage sufficiently on the topic of public transport provision. This raises the thorny issue of the allocation of funds for road construction versus other forms of transport, but needs to be seen in the context of other policy areas, including climate change, an ageing population and peak oil. Appropriate links are made within the Policy to improvements in sustainable design, creating more inclusive communities and environmental management, particularly of natural systems that are impacted by urban development. Translating these into actions is recognised as the responsibility of state, territory and local governments; however, through the Policy, the government has the capacity to play a leadership role in respect to climate change, national environment protection and investment in infrastructure. The Policy recognises that coordinated action is needed to stop the widespread degradation of Australia’s natural resources, including water and biodiversity, along with engaging in appropriate strategies to mitigate the impacts of potential natural hazards, many of which may be accentuated by the likely affects of climate change. It also acknowledges the critical importance of arable land, especially on the fringes of the major urban centres, and the critical role that all levels of government have in protecting the productive capacity of this asset in the context of national food security. With higher rates of crime and social disadvantage generally concentrated in locations with poor accessibility to education, employment and services, the Policy acknowledges that social exclusion experienced by those communities affects the broader fabric of society. 36 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012

The recent trend towards the aggregation of services (including in some circumstances retail) due to economies of scale can lead to social exclusion and a disaggregation of communities, and force people to travel further. Whilst this trend may be good for productivity and minimising the cost of providing services, it does not contribute to liveability or a high quality of life, particularly for the transport-vulnerable people in society who rely on conveniently located and accessible facilities. This requires that strong consideration is given to maintaining centres and other facilities in local communities where market forces might suggest otherwise and increase population densities around social services to maintain a critical mass that can support them at the local level. The statement in the Policy that access to adequate and affordable housing is fundamental to supporting quality of life is linked to the need for future housing stock to change in order to meet the needs of Australia’s changing demographics. The Policy promotes the concept of affordable living, of which the cost of housing is one component – encouraging alternative forms of accommodation, cultural diversity, and community health and wellbeing are others. From a governance perspective, the Policy highlights that administrative processes and ‘red tape’ can waste considerable time and resources. The efficiency and effectiveness of planning systems can be improved – a theme repeated in the Productivity Commission’s recent inquiry into planning and zoning laws – which will benefit business, communities and governments alike. It is important, however, that these improvements are not pursued at the expense of appropriate social and environmental safeguards. In conclusion, the National Urban Policy is one part of a broad suite of interdependent policies and initiatives, many of which are referred to in the document. It won’t appeal to all, in part because it does not provide the solutions, but rather the overarching context, objectives and principles that, as it states, aim to create a framework for stakeholders. Whilst there is clear scope to build on the Policy and engage in the delivery of its objectives, it reinforces that ‘business as usual’ is not going to equip Australia’s major urban centres with the tools needed to deal with the challenges faced. With the stewardship for the planning and development of those centres firmly in the hands of state, territory and local governments, it will be important for them to collaboratively engage with the government in this space.

“Local Government Super is proud to be leading the way in sustainable property development, using Australian technologies, implemented by Australian companies, to deliver cost effective building upgrades that are delivering industry leading environmental performance.

The talk of the town “The following pages describe some of the efficiencies available using local technologies and ingenuity. For example, 120 Sussex Street, our office building constructed in 1992, outperforms new buildings and is the most energy efficient building in the Sydney CBD. For our members our portfolio continues to perform in line with industry investment benchmarks. The cost effectiveness and technical innovations with these technologies has meant we have not interrupted building occupancy during upgrade works and we have upgraded at significantly less cost than industry expectation.

Peter Lambert CEO Local Government Super

The results of our last three years of work are now evident and we can say that Australian ingenuity and skill has delivered leading results. Our property portfolio is now a better place to work and we recommend these technologies to councils across Australia.”

120 Sussex St Sydney – 19 year old commercial office building; The most energy efficient in the Sydney CBD 120 Sussex Street now has the lowest energy intensity recorded for a Sydney office building of 274MegaJoules per square metre per annum. At $160/m2, the cost of the upgrade works were well under industry expectation, and delivered without disturbance to the tenants. The upgrade utilised the Shaw Method of Air Conditioning and e1 Lighting as the main delivery technologies to bring this building to be the leading model of energy efficient buildings in Sydney. It is one of only seven buildings in Sydney to achieve a 5 Star NABERS Base Building Energy rating without the assistance of Green Power.

Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA) – energy reduction and IEQ improvement The AGSA houses and exhibits irreplaceable artworks requiring the highest quality of temperature and humidity control. Air conditioning was upgraded in two phases using SMAC technologies. Indoor air environment and energy consumption was dramatically improved, with consulting engineers reporting an annual air conditioning energy reduction of 60% and significant improvement in air conditioning quality to the West Wing Galleries. This project has received an Australian unprecedented 3 National Awards of Excellence from separate Australian peak construction industry associations.

Duhig Library, Queensland University – 85% A/C thermal energy reduction Over 30 years old, this 4 level, 6400 square metre Library Building is located on the St Lucia Campus of the University of Queensland. The AHU for the top 2 floors was retrofitted and commissioned with SMAC in 2009, while the other AHU remained in its original configuration. Electrical and chilled water energy meters were installed to both AHU so that an annual comparative energy consumption comparison between the two AHU could be undertaken. Results showed that the SMAC unit consumed 85% less energy than the original unit.

Local Government House – Lighting energy reduced 75% In 2009, Local Government Super used Australian e1 lighting for the lighting upgrade in its office tenancy. This resulted in an overall direct reduction in lighting energy consumption by 61% with an estimated 75% reduction with local lighting controls, delivering lighting at under 6 watts per square metre. The lighting design has further enabled a 66% reduction in the number of lamps within the tenancy, being a reduction from 1,523 lamps in operation to 511 and an estimated reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions of 129 tonnes per annum. The payback period was calculated at 3.5 years.

Get Smart Sentryline II TL-3 and TL-4 Wire Rope Safety Barrier is an ASNZS 3845 and NCHRP350 compliant longitudinal barrier approved for use in all Australian States. SMARTER ROAD BARRIERS In addition to allowing an errant vehicle to be contained or redirected in a safe manner, your decision to install a Sentryline II system is a smart choice: - Low installed cost compared to other systems, with reduced inventory holding costs - Commonality of parts makes it easy to upgrade from a 3 cable system to a 4 cable system - Test data for post spacings from 2 – 9 meters

Please call Australian Construction Products on 1800 724 172 or visit for more information


37 • the australian local government environment yearbook 2011/2012

02 9772 4172 03 9213 5199 07 3271 9133 04 1743 0230

urban planning planning ++development development––urban urban++regional regionaldevelopment developmentinfrastructure infrastructure

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All above: X-Tension 350 Fully Re-directive Terminal End

X-Tension 350 Fully Re-directive Terminal End: one product to cover all situations terminal end to suit any situation, ACP’s X-Tension 350 Fully Re-directive Terminal End can be used in Median, Tangent or Flared installations up to 1200mm. The X-Tension 350 is the world’s first fully re-directive guardrail terminal end and is designed and manufactured in Australasia, making it the only home grown terminal on the market.


With the length of need starting at post 1, as opposed to post 3 for other terminals, the X-Tension 350 provides a greater length of protective barrier, reducing the cost of installation. During end-on impacts the X-Tension 350 absorbs energy at the impact head rather than transferring the resistance down the rail. Impact testing conducted at a 15° angle showed the vehicle was re-directed and controlled instead of passing to the backside of the terminal. The X-Tension 350 Terminal End has been crash tested and is approved to NCHRP350 TL-3. It is listed as an approved barrier end terminal by all Australian Roading Authorities. The X-Tension 350 Terminal End comes with a range of accessories for use in areas where there is a risk of the terminal being a hazard to the public. Features: • • • • • • • • •

NCHRP350 TL-3 (100 km/h) compliant Re-directive non gating guardrail end terminal AS3845: 1999 compliant Suitable for termination of standard W-Beam Drivable steel posts System length 11.43m NLL Available exclusively through ACP Unique – the only re-directive system available The X-Tension 350 Terminal may be installed as a tangential terminal or may be offset to a maximum of

X 38••the theaustralian australianlocal localgovernment governmentinFrastructure INFRASTRUCTUREyearbook yearbook2011/2012 2011/2012

• •

• • • • • • •

1200mm Its unique design means that the length of need is established at the beginning of the system Upon impact by an errant vehicle, the impact head travels downstream and the cables are forced through the locking pin to effectively absorb the kinetic energy of the impact and the vehicle is brought to a safe controlled stop Length of need cover at the beginning of the system Reusable components after an impact ensure simple repairs Interchangeable components with median terminal option reduces maintenance inventory Simple installation methodology NCHRP350 tested terminal provides less severe occupant impact severity Approved for use by all Australian State Road Authorities Motorcycle and pedestrian friendly

An Australian first for ACP’s Nu-Guard 31™ Guardrail System The Huon Valley Council recently secured funding of $120,000 from the State Government Black Spot Funding Programme for the installation of 800 metres of Nu-Guard 31™ Steel Guardrail System along sections of Woodbridge Hill Road at Gardeners Bay in Victoria. This is the first installation of this revolutionary steel post guardrail system in Australia. ‘We have only just introduced the Nu-Guard 31™ Steel Guardrail System into Australia,’ said Bruce Grey, Sales Manager Victoria for Australian Construction Products Ltd (ACP). ‘Although the Nu-Guard 31™ Steel Guardrail System is a fully tested and approved to NCHRP Test Level 3 and 4 we are awaiting approval from the RTA assessment panel - so it is significant that Huon Valley Council could see the merits of using Nu-Guard 31™ for the Woodbridge Hill Road installation. They are the first Council to specify its use.’

urbanplanning planning++development development––urban urban ++ regional development infrastructure urban

Above and above right: Nu-Guard 31™ Guardrail System

Bruce explains, ‘Nu-Guard 31™ was chosen because not only would it give the appropriate cover but the roadway is extremely narrow and winding with very little shoulder. Nu-Guard 31™ fitted the bill perfectly.’ Features: • System has a smaller footprint and no block-out • NUCOR™ steel posts with no block-out, enables faster installation • It is possible for one post to be installed per minute using a post rammer • NUCOR™ steel posts are lighter and smaller in area than traditional posts • High tensile galvanised NUCOR™ steel posts are designed for easier after-impact repair of system • Environmentally friendly – manufactured using recycled steel • Uses standard highway rail and fixings • A median or roadside barrier • NUCOR™ steel posts will split on impact to prevent the guardrail tearing and reduce the incidence of wheel snagging • Only NCHRP350 TL-4 tested and approved system using standard highway rail *

Sentryline II TL-3 and TL-4 Wire Rope Barrier: the only fully approved TL-4 system Sentryline II TL-3 and TL-4 Wire Rope Safety Barrier is an AS/NZS3845:1999 and NCHRP350 compliant longitudinal barrier and, when installed correctly, will allow an errant vehicle to be stopped, contained or redirected in a safe manner. It is the only TL-4 Wire Rope Safety Barrier available that has been approved by all Australian State Roading Authorities and has a fully approved TL-3 end terminal. Features: • AS/NZS3845: 1999 compliant and approved for use by all Australian State Road Authorities • Can be used in either edge of road or median applications • Easily installed with zero maintenance • Alternative foundation pile size options available • Designed to be used with Sentryline II NCHRP350 TL-3 terminal end • Can be upgraded to from TL-3 to TL-4 by the addition of another cable • Easily repaired after impact • Low cost patented technology

Black Spot Funding is provided for the installation of safety measures on roads that have prior crash histories resulting in serious injuries or loss of life.

For more information Email: or phone: +61 2 9772 4172

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X-Tension 350 Fully Re-directive Terminal End. One product to cover all Situations.

Sentryline II TL-3 and TL4 Wire Rope Barrier: the only fully approved TL-4 system.

A terminal end to suit any Situation, ACP’s X-Tension 350 Fully Re-directive Terminal End can be used in Median, Tangent or Flared installations up to 1200mm. The X-350 is the world’s first fully re-directive guardrail terminal end and is designed and manufactured in Australasia, making it the only home grown terminal on the market.

Sentryline II TL-3 and TL-4 Wire Rope Safety Barrier is an AS/ NZS3845:1999 and NCHRP 350 compliant longitudinal barrier and, when installed correctly, will allow an errant vehicle to be stopped, contained or redirected in a safe manner. It is the only TL-4 Wire Rope Safety Barrier available that has been approved by all Australian State Roading Authorities and has a fully approved TL-3 end terminal.

Nu-Guard 31 Steel Guardrail System. The only NCHRP350 TL-4 tested and approved system using standard highway rail. A smaller footprint, lighter weight and no requirement for a blockout, means the Nu-Guard 31™ system is comparable in cost to traditional post systems but is simpler and quicker to install. High tensile galvanised NUCOR™ steel posts are designed for easier afterimpact repair of system.


Please call Australian Construction Products on 1800 724 172 or visit

urban planning + development – urban + regional development infrastructure

The State of the Regions By Ian Manning, National Institute of Economic and Industry Research The 2011–12 State of the Regions report, presented at the National General Assembly of Local Government during June, concentrated on two topics: the economic effects of the current mining boom, and the benefits from improved telecommunications. The latter topic is directly relevant to an important form of infrastructure investment, but the former has a pervasive influence over public policy, and hence over investment strategies generally.


he current mining boom is much bigger than the mining boom of the 1980s, yet relies very little on Australian finance. Instead, multinational corporations are making massive overseas-financed investments in a very limited number of LGAs – less than 10 per cent of the Australian total. The geographic concentration of these investments and their specialised transport and other support requirements means that infrastructure constructed to serve the boom will be of limited general benefit. This said, a substantial, if localised, construction boom is underway. The ALGA report analyses a number of consequences of the boom; here we focus on just one – the enhanced rate of immigration in response to the skill shortages that have arisen in the construction industries located in the booming regions. Though not solely responsible, this is adding to the rate of population growth, and hence to the demand for housing. There is nothing new in population growth adding to the demand for housing. However, over the past 30 years, and especially the most recent 15, the rate of housing construction has fallen below the rate of population increase. In some regions, this has reversed the longstanding trend to reducing dwelling occupancy. Despite an ageing population and smaller families, both of which reduce average occupancy, the number of people per dwelling is rising in a number of regions. This has happened despite a substantial effort to meet housing needs by government grants to homebuyers, and by the provision of a ready supply of mortgage finance. (Strictly speaking, the ready availability of mortgage loans is a policy pursued by the Reserve Bank, but it has been integral to overall Commonwealth macroeconomic policy.) If any policy concentrating on the finances of homebuyers was going to get houses built, this would seem to be it. But the policy has not worked. The dwelling construction rate has fallen behind the population growth rate in the major metropolitan areas and on their fringes – indeed in most LGAs where the population has been growing. Construction kept up with demand only in regions with low population growth rates. In the major metropolitan areas, the failure to build enough dwellings to house population growth meant that house prices rose more rapidly than incomes – hence the problem of housing affordability. Strictly speaking, the increase was not so much in the price of houses

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urban planning + development – urban + regional development infrastructure

as such, but in the price of the underlying land – a land boom. Councils in the affected areas will have noticed that unimproved values rose much faster than incomes and the ability to pay rates. The owners of existing homes and the banks also noticed that values were going up and felt confident with an increase in mortgage lending – even when the new mortgages were to be used, directly or indirectly, to finance consumption rather than dwelling construction, and even when the debt servicing burden was rising beyond conventional danger levels in relation to household income. According to this account of the recent Australian urban land boom, the failure of dwelling construction to respond to the ready availability of finance can be blamed on the diversion of finance from new dwelling construction to consumption by sitting homeowners. However, this was only possible because of the increase in unimproved values. Why did this increase occur? The simple answer given in the State of the Regions report is that there was a shortage of potential residential land – greenfields sites – in locations with similar advantages to existing housing. The shortage meant that the price of existing housing, or more accurately of the land underlying existing housing, could rise rapidly due to lack of real competition from greenfields developments. Recent discussion of the shortage of good greenfields sites has tried to blame the town planners for failing to expand the urban boundaries, but this explanation is far from convincing. The sad fact is that house sites on the fringes of the major metropolitan areas – particularly Sydney but increasingly Melbourne and Brisbane – simply do not have the advantages of existing home locations. To be truly competitive with an existing home location, a new dwelling site has to offer similar advantages of accessibility; primarily accessibility to jobs. New dwellings will only be built in any number if the prospective buyers of the dwellings can afford the mortgage. The size of the necessary mortgage depends on raw land costs plus development and construction costs, while the affordability of the mortgage depends on the income that the typical homebuyer can earn from the jobs located within commuting range of the dwelling. Where the number of accessible jobs is large and growing and the jobs pay well, a high rate of dwelling construction can be virtually guaranteed.

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Despite an ageing population and smaller families, both of which reduce average occupancy, the number of people per dwelling is rising in a number of regions. Mining boom locations are a special case, for several reasons. Mining pays well and is generally carried out in regions with plenty of potential greenfield house sites, so people working in the industry generally have the capacity to pay mortgages. However, employment is concentrated in the period when the mine is being constructed, with much lower employment in prospect once the mine is in production. Again, mines are now designed for rapid exploitation of the mineral resource and, except for very large resources, the production phase tends to last for a decade or so. These factors encourage reliance on temporary accommodation and fly-in fly-out. Though the mining boom has been cited as the cause of the increase in immigration, and hence the current rapid rate of population growth, the mining regions account for no more than a small proportion of the increase in population. Most of the employment increase accompanying the boom has been generated indirectly by flow-on effects, which are strong in the capitals of the mining states but still positive in nearly all parts of the country. The population increase has followed the employment increase. Leaving the mining regions aside, two reasons can be given for the shortage of accessible house sites. The primary reason is the lack of job growth accessible from greenfield dwelling sites, while the secondary reason, applicable mainly to greenfield sites on the metropolitan fringes, is lack of investment in transport facilities to improve job accessibility. The average country town has potential greenfield sites aplenty, but limited jobs and poor employment growth. In larger towns, employment opportunities are greater and there is still generally a supply of developable land within easy commuting distance. However, much of the employment generation has been in the metropolitan areas, particularly the CBDs and inner urban areas. Here we run into the problem that, in the big cities, the potential

urban planning + development – urban + regional development infrastructure

There is scope for infrastructure investment to address the problem of poor access to inner-metropolitan jobs from the outer metropolitan areas.

greenfield house sites are located on the fringe, while the jobs are being generated further in. Worse than this, the fringes have reached the point where, even within extended commuting time (say three-quarters of an hour by the fastest means of transport) they provide access to no more than a small proportion of the jobs located in their metropolitan area. The Sydney fringe is the most notorious example. Land costs here are high, due to the limited size of the Sydney basin (in contrast to Perth, with its ample land supply), but jobs within commuting range from the fringe are few and are subject to intense competition. As a result, the prices of existing dwellings have fallen and are now well below the cost of new construction – hence a lack of new building. The trends indicate that similar impasses will soon be reached in Melbourne and Brisbane. Why are there so few jobs accessible from metropolitan fringe home sites? In the post-war period, employment decentralised rapidly within the metropolitan areas and so enhanced the accessibility of jobs from the fringe. This arose partly due to increases in commuting speeds – motorisation – but also reflected the development of manufacturing. Many firms sought low-cost broad-acre sites, not only on the metropolitan fringes but also outside the major cities. However, since the 1980s, manufacturing employment has declined and growth has been much more noticeable in CBD-oriented industries such as finance and, more generally, the knowledge economy. The state governments are aware of these trends and some of them are trying to counter them, for example by decentralisation of back offices, but it has proven very difficult to buck the current pattern of job generation. Rather than try to decentralise individual businesses, it would be open to the Commonwealth to improve investment prospects in industries likely to generate decentralised jobs. The current favourite is mining, but this is a poor candidate because the jobs it generates in remote areas are frequently not backed by the construction of permanent housing, while the jobs it generates in

metropolitan areas tend to be centralised. A much better bet would be industries such as tourism, education (in decentralised campuses) and, of course, manufacturing. These industries have an important attribute in common – they are all trade-exposed in the sense that they are being seriously squeezed by the current high Australian dollar and by high interest rates – both of which are consequences of the mining boom. How can these industries be encouraged? There are many potential measures in the areas of taxation, finance, exchange rate management and skills training. Not least are investments in infrastructure to support the non-mining trade-exposed industries. There is also scope for infrastructure investment to address the problem of poor access to inner-metropolitan jobs from the outer metropolitan areas. For decades now, freeways and toll roads have been the favoured transport investments, such that the scope for faster commuting by these means has been well nigh exhausted. Even if land can be found for increased road space (or created by tunnelling) there remains the problem of parking at the destination. In the main, the scope for increased commuting capacity lies in investment in transit services. Given that infrastructure investment, coupled with other industry policies, has the capacity to address the problem of housing affordability and to contribute to building the dwellings required by the increasing population, why has the Commonwealth been so reluctant to invest? The underlying problem is that it has been unwilling to borrow even for capital purposes. The no-borrowing policy has had its merits – it was at least preferable to the policies of those countries that contributed to the global financial crisis by borrowing heavily for non-investment purposes, such as the United States and several countries in Europe. However, there is a logical contradiction between the current policy of not borrowing to finance infrastructure investment, even when it has a high prospective economic rate of return, while countenancing consumer borrowing ostensibly for housing but effectively for consumption.

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urban planning planning ++ development development––urban urban++regional regionaldevelopment developmentinfrastructure infrastructure

Light, Water, Power and Air: Complete Equipment Solutions by AllightSykes


hen Allight joined forces with Sykes Group at the end of 2010, the two world-leading names in mobile lighting and water management became one dependable Australian equipment manufacturer, now known as AllightSykes. Both groups have been major players in civil and mining industries for decades, designing and manufacturing topperforming products here in Australia and distributing them throughout the world. Allight, who has always been best known for its lighting solutions, is also the official Australasian distributor of Perkins diesel engines, FG Wilson generators, and Rotair air compressors. While Sykes has a highly regarded reputation for producing some of the world’s most advanced auto prime pumps. The new AllightSykes group brings together the brightest in lighting technology, water management, power and air solutions, and is ideally placed to help local governments and private companies achieve the best results and efficiency in every project. Mobile lighting Whether it’s illuminating night road works or a major event, AllightSykes’ mobile lighting range caters for every situation.

The lighting towers have over 20 years of design and manufacturing excellence behind them, and are powered by quality Perkins or CAT engines. The entry-level FIREFLY tower offers reliable, lowmaintenance and cost-effective lighting for metro projects – and is perfect for rental fleets. The FIREFLY is easy to transport, can be operated by one person and comes with a full integral bund to prevent fluid spillage. The 350 degrees of mast rotation and four individually adjustable lamps deliver maximum flexibility, whatever the project requirements. The COMBILITE tower sets new standards in safety, productivity and light output in construction and mining applications. This mobile tower produces 6000 watts of light and has a unique highwall overhang facility for better efficiency and safety. Because of its compact design, seven towers can be carried on a standard 40ft open truck or a 40ft sea container, making shipping very cost-effective. Water management AllightSykes’ auto prime pumps have been dewatering major building and mining sites worldwide for over 40 years. As well as supplying standard pumping solutions, AllightSykes designs and builds customised pumps to suit specific dewatering needs. The Contractor automatic self-priming pump range is designed with operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness in mind. The pumps’ efficiency level of 83 per cent translates into better benefits for the end user and the environment. The robust and lightweight Yakka offers excellent manoeuvrability and works well in construction, sewer bypass and hire applications where a three, four or six-inch pump is required. It features silent canopy design, impactresistant polyethylene panels and a 30-hour fuel tank.

COMBILITE Mobile Lighting Tower

GRINDEX Submersible Pump

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The Xtra High Head pump range caters to the demands of the global mining industry with three models that can operate unattended at high discharge heads. All Xtra pumps have shaft stiffness ratios better than any competitor’s pump. AllightSykes engineers have ensured that the enormous pressures and leads associated with such performance never compromise seal integrity through shaft flexing.





urban planning planning ++ development development––urban urban++regional regionaldevelopment developmentinfrastructure infrastructure

FG WILSON Generator

FIREFLY Mobile Lighting Tower

AllightSykes is also the Australian distributor of Dragflow and Grindex pumps: The Dragflow agitator slurry pumps are specifically designed for picking up solids from rest, mixing them into a high-density slurry and pumping them all in one operation. The three lines of Grindex submersible pumps are capable of meeting any submersible pump requirements, including drainage and sludge pumping. All Grindex pumps are reliable, durable and high-performing. Power generation AllightSykes is the exclusive Australian distributor of market-leading FG Wilson generators and efficient Perkins engines, which power the generators. The compact 7.5kVA to 2500kVA generating sets supply prime power, standby power and peak shaving in any situation and any environment. Compressed air As the only distributor of Rotair air compressors in Australia, AllightSykes brings a breath of fresh air to projects that call for efficient air compression. The quiet and reliable rotary screw compressors are capable of meeting the diverse demands of construction, mining and industrial applications.

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HIMAX HH220i High Head Pump

Being in the top league of mobile lighting tower and pump manufacturing, and the exclusive echelon of power and air solution distributors, means delivering service and support to match. Because that’s where quality and reliability really matter. AllightSykes’ national network of state support offices and authorised service dealers ensures that highly qualified technicians and genuine parts for all equipment manufactured and distributed by AllightSykes are readily available whenever and wherever they’re needed. In addition to full preventative maintenance, commissioning and installation support, and 24/7 on-site breakdown assistance, AllightSykes provides comprehensive warranty support on all products.

For more details on how AllightSykes can make light of your lighting, dewatering, power and air challenges, see

urban planning + development – urban + regional development infrastructure

BUILDING AND OTHER CONSTRUCTION WORK IN 2010 By Andrea Woods, Assistant Director, Rural and Regional Statistics National Centre, Australian Bureau of Statistics The infrastructure to support population change was one issue highlighted in the Australian Government’s recent ‘Sustainable Population Strategy’. This article provides examples of statistics available from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), that describe the level of construction of nonresidential buildings and other physical infrastructure.


on-residential building includes commercial buildings, such as shops and offices, industrial buildings such as factories and warehouses, and other types of non-residential buildings, such as schools, aged care facilities and hospitals. Engineering construction includes all fixed infrastructure other than buildings, such as roads, rail, ports, utilities, telecommunications and parks. ABS statistics provide information on the number and value of buildings approved and the amount of work commenced, done, and yet to be done on buildings and other engineering construction. All statistics in this article are in original, current price terms.

Engineering Construction

‘Roads, highways and subdivisions’ include parking areas, cycle paths, airport runways, pedestrian and vehicle overpasses, traffic lights, roundabouts, road drainage works, street and highway lighting, road surfacing, kerbing and guttering and road tunnels. In the states and territories, the highest value of work done on roads, highways and subdivisions was Queensland, with $5121 million, followed by New South Wales ($3648 million) and Western Australia ($2330 million). Graph 1 shows the value of work done in 2010 by state and territory for selected types of engineering construction. (For the states and territories, data for some construction types are presented together.)

The Engineering Construction Survey covers nonbuilding construction by both public sector and private sector organisations. This includes roads, bridges, railways, dams, water pipelines, and even golf courses and sports playing fields. Organisations in industries likely to undertake engineering construction activity are surveyed to collect information about the type and value of construction projects undertaken. Statistics from ‘Engineering Construction Activity, Australia, March 2011’ (ABS cat. no. 8762.0), show that there was $79,506 million of engineering construction work done in Australia in 2010. The largest value of work done was $27,452 million on oil, gas, coal and other minerals, followed by $14,677 million on roads, highways and subdivisions. There was also $5481 million of work done on railways, $6264 million on water storage and supply, $3118 million on sewerage and drainage, and $2779 million on recreation.

How much engineering construction was done by local government? Of the $79,506 million of engineering work in Australia in 2010, $49,959 million was done by the private sector for the private sector, $14,449 million was done by the private sector for the public sector, and $15,098 million was done by the public sector.

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urban planning + development – urban + regional development infrastructure

In 2010, $4403 million of engineering work was done by local government. In the states and territories, the highest value of work done by local government was in Queensland ($1794 million), followed by New South Wales ($1346 million) and then Western Australia ($597 million).

Building activity To determine the value of building activity, the ABS surveys a sample of approved building jobs. Builders, owners and other organisations engaged in building activity provide information about the value of building work from commencement to completion.

Statistics from ‘Building Approvals, Australia, May 2011’ (ABS cat. no. 8731.0) show that there was $76,742 million of buildings approved in Australia in 2010, of which $49,288 million was residential building and $27,454 million was non-residential building. The non-residential building included $6559 million of education buildings, $641 million of aged care facilities, and $1640 million of health buildings. Graph 3 shows the value of the approvals of these three building types for each state and territory in 2010.

Statistics from ‘Building Activity, Australia, December 2010’ (ABS cat. no. 8752.0) show that there was $85,780 million of work done on buildings in Australia in 2010, of which $48,245 was residential and $37,535 was nonresidential. This included $13,785 million of work done on education buildings, $746 million on aged care facilities, and $3196 million on health buildings. Graph 2 shows the value of work done in each state and territory in 2010 for these building types. The highest value of education buildings approved was in Queensland ($1905 million); the highest value of aged care buildings approved was in New South Wales ($197 million); and the highest value of health buildings approved was in Victoria ($488 million). What can ABS construction statistics reveal about future activity?

The highest value of work done on education buildings was in New South Wales ($4321 million); the highest value of work done on aged care buildings was also in New South Wales ($312 million); and the highest value of work done on health buildings was in Queensland ($867 million).

Building approvals Statistics about buildings approved are compiled from sources such as permits issued by local government authorities and other principal certifying authorities. These can include residential building (houses, flats and so on) and various types of non-residential building. Buildings approved generally commence construction in the months after the approval is given.

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Both the Building Activity Survey and the Engineering Construction Survey collect information about the value of construction yet to be done. This includes construction projects that have commenced but are not yet completed. At the end of December 2010, there was $41,599 million worth of work yet to be done on building construction, of which $20,779 million was residential and $20,820 million was non-residential. There was also $97,572 million of engineering construction work yet to be done in Australia, which included $11,903 million of work on roads, highways and subdivisions, $4606 million on water storage and supply, and $4535 million on railways.

For inquiries about these and other construction statistics, contact the ABS on 1300 135 070.


We draw on over 60 years of local and international experience to deliver the very best cost advice to our clients in the infrastructure sector. Our expertise spans the project life cycle from feasibility through to completion across all contract and procurement types. Our expertise includes:         


Knowing the true cost of works at all phases of the project enables our clients to make decisions which result in optimum project outcomes. To find out how we can assist on your next project contact Nick Deeks on +61 2 9929 7422, email or visit our website.







urban planning planning ++development development––urban urban++regional regionaldevelopment developmentinfrastructure infrastructure

Creating and maintaining community assets WT Partnership, with their infrastructure cost planning and management capability, provide a holistic service that helps state and local governments and agencies deliver and maintain enduring community assets.


ocal governments across Australia collectively manage in excess of $200 billion worth of community assets, many of which are reaching the end of their useful life. In partnership with major councils across the country WT Partnership’s Cost Engineering Group is providing accurate cost planning on a range of municipal projects across the transport, recreation, civic and essential services sectors to deliver assets that meet business and community expectation. Most recently the firm has been engaged on a number of high-profile urban renewal projects, which focus on attracting employment and private investment to previously neglected or underdeveloped municipal areas and highlight the capacity of local councils to collaborate with state and federal government agencies to secure capital works funding. Founded in 1836, Victoria Square/Tarndanyangga has been remodelled a handful of times, but has arguably never fulfilled the dual purpose of being both the physical and spiritual heart of Adelaide. WT Partnership’s team is providing a full cost and value management service throughout the design and construction, including whole of life cost advice and cost

benefit analysis of ESD initiatives for Adelaide City Council’s redevelopment of the precinct to deliver a landmark civic development to rival Melbourne’s Federation Square. WT Partnership’s Infrastructure Group is providing peer review services on the civil and infrastructure aspects associated with the Headland Park including marina, foreshore restoration and underground car park on the multi-billion dollar Barangaroo project, which will transform a 22 hectare industrial site on the Sydney’s waterfront into a thriving residential and commercial precinct, which will accommodate 22,000 workers and residents. The project aims to revive the location as a trade gateway, ultimately attracting business to position their regional and global headquarters in the city. Environmental as well as urban renewal is a major focus for the project team and the redevelopment will dedicate approximately half of the site to public green space including the construction of Headland Park, which will reinstate the green headlands of the western harbour. The $290 million Revitalising Central Dandenong initiative in south east Melbourne, a collaborative effort between the Victorian State Government, VicUrban and the City of Greater Dandenong consists of a number of projects

Victoria Square/ Tarndanyangga Images courtesy Adelaide City Council & Taylor Cullity Lethlean WT Partnership are providing full cost and value management service throughout the design and construction, including whole of life cost advice and cost benefit analysis of the project

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urbanplanning planning++development development–– urban urban ++ regional development infrastructure urban and assets within those projects. WT Partnership are also establishing a process that records information required by insurance companies and conduct reviews of current cost budgets. The firm also used their cost engineering skills to assist in the aftermath of Queensland’s January 2011 floods. WT Partnership provided quantity surveying and construction cost management services for reconstruction works on projects stretching from Emerald in the north, to Ipswich and Toowoomba in the west and within Brisbane. These reconstruction works included factories, hotels, commercial offices, shopping centres, ferry terminals and stadia. Immediately following the floods, the firm’s Brisbane office also provided a team of clean up volunteers that was maintained on a rolling basis for four weeks, reacting to the major task of cleaning up Brisbane’s flood affected suburbs.

Revitalising Central Dandenong Image courtesy of Urban Renewal Authority Victoria (VicUrban) The $29.5 million Stockmans Bridge provides better connection between Dandenong’s West and the $20 million redevelopment of Lonsdale Street in the city centre.

across approximately 43 hectares including redevelopment works to the Lonsdale Street Precinct, the Dandenong Market, Palm Plaza and new construction works including Stockmans Bridge and City Walk. WT Partnership have provided cost planning and management to the project team through the masterplanning, design and construction phases of the project, which will encourage $1 billion worth of private sector investment and the creation of 5000 jobs and 4000 new dwellings in the suburb over the next 15 years. The firm is currently engaged on a number of other significant projects for the City of Sydney including the Green Square Urban Renewal project and provided cost planning and estimating services on the Oran Park and Turner Road projects for the Growth Centres Commission.

Small scale works also benefit from WT Partnership’s expertise. The team’s cost engineering encompasses initial cost planning, third party verification/validation of DA estimates, assistance during feasibility studies, detailed cost planning/estimating, assisting with tender document preparation, tender analysis and review, post contract services including progress claim assessment, variation review and negotiation, assessment of extension of time claims and prolongation claims and final account settlement and whole of life costing. This full suite of services gives their team the opportunity to demonstrate their capacity for innovating thinking and assessment of complex infrastructure projects to deliver assets that balance council vision with allocated budgets. WT Partnership have Infrastructure capability across Australia. For further information on how we can assist on your civil and infrastructure projects please contact Nick Deeks, National Infrastructure Director via email or call +61 2 9929 7422.

The team is also commissioned on a number of projects for other major urban and regional councils on civic infrastructure works including roads, bridges, footpaths, streetscape, inground services diversions, undergrounding of aerial cables, land subdivisions, remediation, parklands, foreshore works, passenger terminals, rail station upgrades, intermodal terminals and car parks. Works also include assisting both councils and town planners in costing Section 94/developer contribution plans. Following the September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes in Christchurch two Australian-based staff have relocated to the city indefinitely to assist in the recovery effort. The Australian contingent are working with the Cambridge Earthquake Recovery Commission to develop procedures, which record and validate costs claimed by contractors for repairs to civic infrastructure and set up processes that allocate the claimed costs to projects

Barangaroo Image courtesy of Barangaroo WT Partnership are providing peer review cost management services for the civil and infrastructure works associated with the Headland Park. The multi-billion dollar redevelopment of Barangaroo will transform a 22 hectare industrial site on the Sydney’s waterfront into a thriving residential and commercial precinct.

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Moody Creek Catchment Plan improves future flood security in Cairns


ollowing a three stage study to fully assess the performance of the 2832 ha Moody Creek Catchment located to the southeast of Cairns CBD, VDM’s Catchment Management team concluded four key achievable objectives as practical outcomes of their work. Objective 1: Improve flood conveyance capacity of Moody Creek and tributary drains to contain the one in 20 year flood event. Objective 2: Improve street culvert capacity where possible to allow safe passing of vehicles where there is no safe alternative route for the one in 100 year event as described in QUDM. Objective 3: Implementation of ‘Development Controls’ to ensure that flooding and water quality outcomes are not worsened by the development of the Moody Creek catchment in accordance with CairnsPlan. Objective 4: Develop a program to improve environmental health and water quality in the Moody Creek catchment. VDM’s very successful community engagement process was specifically developed and implemented to identify all relevant project stakeholders and facilitate their involvement in the consultation process. The approach defined the clear purpose of the community engagement and provided a variety of mechanisms for respondents’ comments. This maximised the opportunity for participation in the development of the drainage management plan and demonstrated Cairns Regional Council’s clear commitment to community engagement and participation. Responses from key stakeholders were focused predominantly on environmental issues, specifically flooding of private property and water quality, soils, vegetation disturbance and riparian restoration. Baseline water quality data confirmed that flows in Moody Creek did not meet the QLD Healthy Waterways and QLD Water Quality Guidelines 2008 criteria designed to protect receiving waters. By responding with positive outcomes, this plan

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Moody Creek Drainage System

has provided Cairns Regional Council with practical and achievable outcomes that will provide physical improvements to the catchment water quality and conveyance capacity and will allow future economical development in the catchment without worsening flood impact. Staged improvements recommended in the report included the construction of a flood mitigation dam at Ramsay Drive, inclusion of training walls to improve capacity at critical locations within the creek, installation of trash racks and gross pollutant traps to improve source control and a revegetation program developed under the Creek Smart Program. These improvements were assigned capital and operational budgets and associated Priority Infrastructure Plan costs. Detailed construction programs were included to assess and define the timeframes for full implementation of these works in a fiscally achievable seven-year program. The study found that a major component of this strategy for implementing improvements in flooding and water quality outcomes required additional and amended development controls governing future development in the Moody Creek catchment. A full review of the CairnsPlan Codes identified relevant amendments including setting revised Performance Criteria and Acceptable Measures.

Contact Noel Ward on (07) 5444 0400.

VDM Consulting is a leading Australian multi-disciplinary engineering and environmental consultancy with a reputation for excellence in project design and management. We have an established network of offices throughout Australia, demonstrating our commitment to providing a professional local presence through which clients are able to access the full range of coordinated “in house” services offered by the company. VDM Consulting staff are experienced working in environments where stakeholder communication is critical for defining key issues. We understand that developing effective solutions often means striking a balance between stakeholder expectations and what is economically, socially and environmentally best practice. Across Australia, VDM Consulting provide the following services to Local Government: • • • • • • • • •

Flood Risk Analysis, Flood Plain Planning and Hydraulic Infrastructure Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Implementation of Sustainable Technologies Public Open Space Planning and Environmental Services Civil Engineering Structural Engineering Traffic Engineering Acoustic, Air and Vibration Assessment Project Management

Ewen Maddock Dam Boardwalk - Sunshine Coast Regional Council

Southport Broadwater Parklands - Gold Coast City Council

Bowen Foreshore Redevelopment—Whitsunday Regional Council

To find out more about the range of engineering and environmental services available, phone Noel Ward on (07) 5444 0400 or email PERTH SYDNEY MELBOURNE BRISBANE DARWIN GOLD COAST SUNSHINE COAST HERVEY BAY BUNDABERG GLADSTONE MACKAY AIRLIE BEACH CAIRNS

urban planning + development

Using recycled materials in Local Government works By Colin Leek, Adjunct Professor of Civil Engineering, Curtin University, and Project Engineer, City of Canning Introduction To most people, waste is a noun, used to describe a variety of materials that they no longer want. This is the material they put in the bin for the council to pick up each week, and the waste disappears from sight and mind. To industry, waste is a noun – it describes the material produced as a byproduct that they have no use for and want to get rid of. To a few people, waste is a resource that they can use to make other products. The question is, is this material a waste? The community needs to shift its focus on waste, and cease using the word as a noun. Waste should be considered a verb, that is a ‘doing word’. To waste is to commit an act that discards something for which a use can be found. There are some people who, inspired by a commitment to minimising the ongoing action of wastage in society, are finding innovative ways of reprocessing the resources discarded by others. To waste is: • e nvironmentally irresponsible • socially unacceptable • economically indefensible. In many cases, whilst profit is the aim of recyclers of discarded materials, and a business cannot survive without profit, the aim of many people who minimise wastage by offering reprocessing facilities is often based not only on business development, but an underlying commitment to the planet and sustainability. However, one of the major issues for such businesses is the gaining of confidence in the use of what is often seen as a ‘second-class’ product as it is derived from waste materials and must therefore be inferior to the new equivalent product. What is needed in many cases is for someone to ‘give it a go’ and demonstrate to the wider community that the recycled product does work. The following describes some such products and proposed developments used in the City of Canning in Western Australia to further the use of recycled products and improve the sustainability of council operations.

Western Australian experience with recycled roadbase and aggregates Details of investigations Recycled roadbase sourced from demolition materials has long been used in the eastern states of Australia, but has been slow to develop in Western Australia. The resistance towards this product stems from earlier productions that did not meet the required standards of quality. The City of Canning had been approached several times over the past decade to trial recycled base, but on each occasion a visual inspection showed considerable contamination with wood, plastics, plaster and other undesirable products, and the offer was not taken up. In 2007, C&D Recycling approached the City of Canning and asked the City to reconsider recycled roadbase. A visual inspection showed a well-graded product that had no visible undesirable contaminants and an apparently consistent product across a considerable stockpile. A decision was made to use this product to demonstrate its properties to a suspicious Western Australian road building industry. This formed the basis of the Welshpool Road project, which has been extensively tested by the City. There have been two major field investigations using recycled crushed demolition materials in Western Australia: • G ilmore Avenue, Town of Kwinana, constructed January to April 2003 • W elshpool Road, City of Canning, constructed November 2007 to February 2008 • Warton Road, City of Gosnells, constructed March 2009. A major study was undertaken by ARRB Group and Curtin University in 2010 (Leek and Siripun 2010) into the properties of pure recycled crushed concrete road base (CCRB), a comingled material containing brick, tile, asphalt and other reclaimed pavement materials, named crushed demolition road base (CDRB). The performance was compared to that of new crushed granite road base (CGRB). This study found that the recycled products performed as well as or better than quarried roadbase. These studies are detailed in the following sections.

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urban planning + development

urban planning + development

Turning Old Lamps Into New Products


s a society we continue to look at ways in which we can help to reduce our impact on the environment, ensuring the survival of our planet for future generations. Due to the small amounts of mercury used in fluorescent lamps, it is important to ensure that these lamps are disposed of responsibly and don’t turn into landfill and cause health and environmental problems. The mercury contained in one fluorescent tube can pollute 30,000 litres of water beyond a safe level for drinking. Listed as the most hazardous metal on the EPA’s list of industrial pollutants, mercury is a very potent neurotoxin. However, through the recycling of lamps, we can help ensure that this dangerous material is contained and safely managed. Recovery and recycling is the only safe, efficient and effective way to reduce current levels of mercury in our environment. The resulting environmental benefits from recycling include: • A reduction in landfill • Reducing the risk of contamination of our waterways

Providing a start to finish service, SYLVANIA’s SYLrecycle program ensures that all lamps are converted into safe, reusable materials for the building, health and agricultural industries. Each lamp is initially crushed before the endcaps, glass and phosphor are isolated. The phosphor then undergoes a mercury recovery procedure, safely capturing the hazardous metal. Components are then cleaned and distilled for reuse. The SYLrecycle program is available for all types of lamps up to 1500mm in length, including all High Pressure Sodium, Metal Halide, Mercury Vapour and Compact Fluorescent lamps.

To take part in SYLrecycle contact your SLA representative or email

X • the australian local government inFrastructure yearbook 2011/2012the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012 • 55

urban planning + development

continued from page 54

Research findings Visual inspection Detailed visual inspections were undertaken in January 2011, and further FWD testing was undertaken in October 2010 (Gilmore Avenue) and January 2011 (Welshpool Road and Warton Road). The following observations are relevant: • G ilmore Avenue: The control section constructed with conventional CGRB has generally minor rutting of 10–20 mm throughout, with some significant areas of fatigue and 30 mm rutting, some sections so severe that patching has occurred (see Figure 2.1 and Figure 2.2). This is attributable to the high moisture content at sealing. For CGRB, a dryback of 60 per cent is recommended. The sections using CDRB have very isolated minor rutting (<10 mm), but do exhibit extensive fine block cracking on an approximate grid of 1.5 metres (see Figure 2.3). • W elshpool Road: There is no rutting or cracking evident in any section of Welshpool Road. • W arton Road: There is no rutting in Warton Road, but transverse cracking has commenced and this is predicted to extend ultimately to block cracking on a two-metre grid. Cracks are wider in Warton Road than at Gilmore Avenue.

Figure 2.3: Recycled base section

Test results Extensive laboratory testing and field testing has been undertaken on both new and recycled base materials and pavements as described above. The findings have shown that: • R ecycled pavement materials produced in Western Australia have consistent grading and properties that can be relied upon. • R ecycled pavement materials are considerably stiffer than the new roadbase. • P avement deflections are considerably reduced in pavements with recycled materials compared to new roadbase. • R ecycled materials with significant proportions of structural concrete may stiffen with age due to rehydration of cement. Research conclusion Based on the research undertaken in Western Australia, the following generalised observations are provided:

Figure 2.1: Gilmore Avenue conventional roadbase section

• R ecycled roadbase materials sourced from recycled demolition materials can provide a good-quality highstrength base for roads. • R ecycled base materials are likely to give an increased asphalt fatigue life, but some minor block cracking may be the compromise. • T he source of concrete in recycled materials may have a significant effect on rehydration and subsequent excessive stiffness and block cracking.

Figure 2.2: Gilmore Avenue conventional roadbase section 56 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012

• I t is probable that the addition of brick, tile and/or sand as a fine material into the recycled product may control excess stiffness and limit the effects of rehydration.

urban planning + development

• R ehydration may not be adequately described by a 28day UCS. • Further research into the rehydration effects of recycled roadbase is required. • F urther research into the source of the concrete and its effect on stiffness is required. • F urther research into the effect of the source of fines on the long-term stiffness of recycled materials is required. Recycled aggregate in concrete City of Canning owns and operates a concrete batch plant with its own agitator trucks. The City has successfully designed and used concrete manufactured from recycled crushed aggregates, and is currently with Curtin University, designing mixes to replace fine aggregate with recycled crushed glass and to replace the ordinary Portland cement with geopolymer cements sourced from flyash. 1. Recycled glass in asphalt Pioneer Road Services (now Fulton Hogan) approached the City of Canning with a proposal to use crushed glass sourced from that part of the glass fraction that could not currently be recycled into glass (see Figure 3.1), and use this as a sand replacement in asphalt (see Figure 3.2). This was undertaken not as an economic decision, but as an effort to improve sustainability.

Figure 3.2: Processed glass The City agreed and the trials have been successful. Recycled glass is now used in all of the City’s asphalt. 2. C4M Retaining walls The City of Canning had a requirement to build an extensive wall system in Ranford Road Canning Vale as part of a major road upgrade. The City identified baled tyres as a possible recycled material, but could not implement this due to the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) requiring that any site where baled tyres were used would be required to be licensed as a landfill site. However, they did advise that Lomwest Enterprises had patented an approved process that encapsulated baled tyres into a composite concrete baled tyre block that could be used (see Figure 4.1, Figure 4.2 and Figure 4.3). Lomwest, however, had not been able to enter the market, as no single organisation was prepared to give the process an initial start. The City engaged Lomwest and set up a manufacturing process in the council depot, where Lomwest manufactured the units and the City supplied concrete from its own batch plant using recycled aggregates. The wall was installed by Lomwest. The retaining wall segments have minimal reinforcement, and use the mass of the baled tyres as part of the total mass to resist earth pressure. The overall savings were assessed by an independent quantity surveyor at 30 per cent, compared to conventional alternatives.

Figure 3.1: Source glass material

The City has now used these segments on four other sites, and has found them to be extremely quick to install and cost-competitive, not to mention the environmental benefits of recycling.

the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012 • 57

urban planning + development

3. Policy development One of the impediments to the use of products like recycled concrete, glass in asphalt and C4M walls is the purchasing policies that generally require three quotes or tenders to be called. However, for untried products or new innovations, at times considerable effort needs to be made to convince management that a single quote for an unproven product is competitive. In addition to the purchasing considerations, the tender acceptance process needs to consider more than the cost of the product, and the City has made some changes to its tender process to ensure that a more sustainable outcome is adopted. Figure 4.1: Load testing

Examples of changes to the tender processes are: • d emonstrated commitment to research and development is a selection criteria • demonstrated commitment to recycling • m andated recycled content in some products (e.g. glass in asphalt, reclaimed asphalt in new asphalt) • energy and water inputs in manufacture. 4. Conclusion

Figure 4.2: Installation

Recycling and waste avoidance should be a major aim of product procurement, and this can be achieved by the tender selection process. It is also important that innovators of new processes are given a fair hearing, and council staff should be prepared to step outside the square. This is not necessarily taking a risk, as some processes should be almost self-evident, even if not used before. People often refer to others as reinventing the wheel when considerable research effort is made into a product that is well-accepted elsewhere; for example, recycled concrete roadbase. However, Curtin University has made many new discoveries and developed improved specifications based on the joint research by Curtin and the City of Canning. If one reinvents the wheel, all you end up with is an identical wheel. It is only by refinement that the wheel has been transformed.

Figure 4.3: Completed wall ready for artwork

58 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012

urban planning planning + development urban

Projects & infrastructure and open-book partnering


ontinued cost shifting, loss of local control, escalating financial responsibilities – Local councils are under pressure to provide for the community without putting ratepayer funds at risk. Important projects often face delays as funding is constrained, and more immediate needs take priority. Increasingly councils are seeking solutions to get their development projects off the ground. When looking for a private sector partner, be sure to assess how this will financially impact or benefit council in the long term. Full transparency and working to council’s specifications are essential. The recently completed Central West Livestock Exchange (stage 2) at Forbes is testament to the process. Under a collaborative agreement, Forbes Shire Council transferred all development and financing risks to Projects & Infrastructure (P+i), yet retained control of design specifications and saleyard operations. Forbes’ Mayor Phyllis Miller believes the arrangement has been imperative to the success of the project.

‘P+i offers an attractive alternative to traditional procurement through its open-book partnering approach … we now have state-of-the-art facilities for selling livestock in the Central West without tying up our capital.’ Moree Plains Shire Council and Great Lakes Council are also using P+i as their delivery partner on their new retail urban renewal precincts.

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roads, roads,bridges bridges++tunnels tunnels

Enlarged Cotter Dam viewing platform in Canberra. INSET: View from platform.

Building better communities


bergeldie delivers the complex infrastructure facilities that build better communities. For local government projects, such as roads, bridges, tunnels, recreation facilities and water treatment plants, they have the in-house experience, resources and management systems to selfperform to the most demanding standards. Engagement with local suppliers, local sub-contractors and local community groups is a key to their success. Abergeldie contributes to the development of sustainable communities by emphasising local capacity building and partnerships. By supporting local businesses and products,they aim to strengthen and diversify the regional economies in which they operate.

Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory. ‘Had we not made a point of engaging with local communities to develop networks and skills capacity in local areas, I doubt that we could have grown our regional office network anywhere near as quickly,’ says Mr Boyle. ‘It’s a two-way street. We want to leave behind a broader local skills base and a stronger business community that can help support us when we come back for the next project. When you build new business networks, you are generally building new business opportunities, too.’

‘We put a lot of emphasis on engaging with local communities,’ explains Mick Boyle, Abergeldie’s founder and Managing Director. ‘When we put together a project management plan, one of our first steps is to identify the local stakeholders and work out the best ways to engage with them. It’s not just about open communication. We want to find ways that local business can benefit from the investment being made.’

The range of infrastructure projects undertaken has been broad: a cycle way and bridge in Mackay; water treatment plants on the Sunshine Coast; a tourist viewing platform in Canberra (pictured); pipe-jacked tunnels under roads and waterways for the Victorian desalination scheme; road bridges over live railway lines; a new section of race track for a V8 Supercar event; dams; ventilation shafts for mines; and just about any kind of infrastructure that any community may need. Common to all has been Abergeldie’s purposeful engagement with local suppliers, sub-contractors and community stakeholders.

Established in 1994 by Mr Boyle with one office in Sydney, the company has since expanded – through natural growth and acquisitions – to offer its complex engineering services across eastern Australia, from Victoria to Tropical North Queensland. It now has offices in Brisbane, Newcastle, Mackay and Canberra, and is licenced for building as well as demolition works in New South Wales,

The approach has proven its value. Abergeldie has grown rapidly. It has strong financial capacity and a core of highly skilled, loyal, professional staff. Nevertheless, it has remained small enough to offer personal attention, while being large enough to offer specialist services in multiple areas to deliver infrastructure that communities need to grow and prosper.

60• •the theaustralian australianlocal localgovernment governmentinFrastructure INFRASTRUCTUREyearbook yearbook2011/2012 2011/2012 X


Abergeldie offers a full suite of road, bridge and tunnel infrastructure services. Through collaboration with many councils, utility providers and road authorities, Abergeldie provides local communities with: • Bridges to improve community interaction and safety • Tunnels to facilitate upgrades of underground utility infrastructure for growing communities • Recreational infrastruture such as boardwalks, jetties, wharves and tourist viewing platforms to encourage communities to enjoy the great outdoors For all your road, bridge and tunnel infrastructure requirements, contact Abergeldie. E: P: 02 8717 7777


roads, bridges + tunnels

Recycled Roads To Zero Waste:

an Australian first By Cr Bill McArthur, President, Municipal Association of Victoria Victorian councils manage 85 per cent of the state’s entire road network and operate kerbside waste and recycling collection services across the state, investing more than $260 million each year. There is a strong commitment by local government to lead action at the local level to achieve a more sustainable future for our communities. With quarry rock, the traditional material used for road base construction, becoming more difficult to source, councils have capitalised on this unique opportunity to create new market uses for recycled materials collected through kerbside services.

62 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012


two-year project by a consortium of nine partner agencies, including government, industry and research institutions, is encouraging councils nationwide to explore the infinite possibilities of recycled materials in road and pathway construction. By embracing the use of approved recycled content, road authorities can reduce their civil construction costs, energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and reliance on virgin quarried materials. A new construction specification recommends the use of 15 per cent and 30 per cent recycled crushed glass, and crushed concrete or brick in the sub-base of footpaths and shared pathways. It was developed by Swinburne University for the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV), in partnership with Sustainability Victoria, the Packaging Stewardship Forum, and councils, following extensive laboratory and field testing. Previously, the recommended maximum recycled material was only three per cent, with this content defined as a ‘foreign material’. Now described as an ‘additive’, testing has concluded that recycled crushed brick and crushed glass in blends of up to 30 per cent are equivalent to, or exceed, the performance of quarried rock. A separate 2011 VicRoads specification also recommends up to 15 per cent crushed brick and glass in a Class 3 road base construction, and up to 25 per cent in a Class 4 sub-base construction.

roads, bridges + tunnels Quinn Street, Deer Park – 155 tonnes of glass were used in the road construction

While this is a significant shift in the level of recycled materials being incorporated into Australian civil construction, the Packaging Stewardship Forum says that crushed glass had been used for years in the United Kingdom, United States, Europe and New Zealand. Meanwhile, Victoria’s environmental savings achieved from kerbside recycling are equivalent to taking 56,178 cars off the road, or 337,066 tonnes of greenhouse gases. Nationally this is much higher. But these benefits, and the long-term success of recycling, depend on collected materials being manufactured into new products and reused. This is known as ‘closing the recycling loop’. So when four million tonnes of approved recycled material are generated annually in Victoria, but only one million tonnes are being reused in construction application, there is clearly room for new end markets to be developed. A further 2.2 million tonnes are being stockpiled, while 800,000 tonnes are sent to landfill. Glass in particular accounts for one-quarter of all recycled materials garnered from Victorian kerbs, but suffers from a high amount of breakages during the collection process. This means the different coloured glass can’t be sorted and reprocessed back into glass bottles. As well as funding and operating Victoria’s kerbside recycling service, councils’ total annual spend on environmentally preferred products and services has increased to more than $73 million a year – doubling in the past five years. With such a strong financial investment, and commitment as a community leader to environmental sustainability, it’s a natural progression to explore new end markets for collected materials. Civil construction seemed an obvious starting point, given that local government in Victoria manages over 40,000 kilometres of footpaths and 129,000 kilometres of roads, with average council expenditure accounting for between nine and 20 per cent of their total budget. In other states where councils manage larger land areas, the proportion of spending on roads would be much higher.

This presented a clear opportunity for local government to increase its use of recycled glass and recycled crushed brick and concrete in road and footpath construction. And so, in 2009, the MAV brought together an alliance to build the case for change. Like any new material, recycled crushed glass requires laboratory evidence of its performance capabilities – road materials should be capable of withstanding at least 20 years of heavy traffic. Swinburne University’s Centre for Sustainable Infrastructure was commissioned by the MAV to test blends of up to 50 per cent concrete, brick and glass in the base and sub-base of footpath and road constructions. Five councils volunteered to build demonstration sites after the laboratory testing was successful. Brimbank City Council in Melbourne’s inner west, and Manningham City Council in Melbourne’s leafy eastern suburbs, were home to the first two demonstration sites. Using the new specifications, three more Victorian councils have participated in road and footpath construction demonstration sites. These include Bayside City Council, Port Phillip City Council and Surf Coast Shire Council. Significantly, a 2008 study by RMIT and Alex Fraser (Alex Fraser Group is the supplier of the recycled product) confirmed that the use of recycled materials in road and footpath construction can lead to a reduction in carbon waste by up to 65 per cent. This is great news for Victorian councils, many of which are members of the Victorian Sustainability Accord and have carbon reduction targets to achieve.

the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012 • 63

roads, bridges + tunnels Right and below: Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, before and after completion. Recycled crushed glass partial sand replacement was used in footpath construction.

Local government is demonstrating how large-scale practical action can reduce our carbon footprint and achieve zero waste. All Victorian councils have recently been asked to sign up to the ‘Local Government Recycled Roads to Zero Waste Sustainability Challenge’. This commits them to use more recycled materials in their pavement bases; identify works in their five-year capital works programs; and put it into action through their procurement policies and practices. Local government is demonstrating how large-scale practical action can reduce our carbon footprint and achieve zero waste. And with no reduction in pavement performance, and no cost increase, it makes great environmental and economic sense. We’re confident that this action will take a hold nationally, and we can pave the way to a greener Australian road future.

Further details are available at:

Partners involved in the project include the MAV and participating councils; Sustainability Victoria; VicRoads; Alex Fraser Group; Packaging Stewardship Forum of the Australian Food and Grocery Council; Swinburne University’s Centre for Sustainable Infrastructure; ARRB Group; ECO-Buy; and the Metropolitan Waste Management Group.

64 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012

Port Phillip The City of Port Phillip’s (CoPP) Council Plan includes a strong focus on taking action to address climate change. As a commitment to this strategic direction, CoPP is trialling and using recycled materials in road and footpath reconstructions. CoPP undertakes road and footpath capital and maintenance works on an annual basis. Currently we are using recycled crushed rock in the base of footpaths and reclaimed asphalt (15 per cent RAP) on road-wearing courses wherever this is practical. When the MAV sought expressions of interest for using recycled crushed rock with a mix of 30 per cent glass sand, we participated in the project to pursue council’s strategic direction on climate change. We used this method on a section of footpath on the north side of Fitzroy Street, between Acland Street and Park Street, St Kilda. This section of Fitzroy Street is in a highly trafficked pedestrian area, close to Catani Gardens, across from a busy shopping strip with many restaurants and businesses. Works on this footpath commenced in mid-May 2011, and were successfully completed in mid-June. Council is now in negotiations with Alex Fraser Group to use this product on a regular basis in both capital and maintenance footpath works. The City of Port Phillip Council strongly supports the use of this type of green material.

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roads, bridges + tunnels

A Bayside pavement reconstruction project ‘sparkles’ ‘Bayside proud to be part of environmental trial’ says Mayor A new pavement in the Bayside suburb of Beaumaris is literally ‘sparkling’ after the recent completion of reconstruction works. Residents living in Tramway Parade, Beaumaris have benefited from the application of new environmentally sustainable technology using recycled glass as a part of the raw materials to repave their street. The Tramway Parade project was the first Melbourne street selected by the MAV, Sustainability Victoria and VicRoads to trial the use of recycled glass as a component of the base material used in the new pavement. The works were undertaken by contractor CDN Constructors Pty Ltd, a Melbourne-based company with 19 years experience in road and pavement reconstruction. Bayside Council also used this technology in the reconstruction of 100 metres of footpath in Ludstone Street in Hampton. VicRoads, Swinburne University and the ARRB Group were involved in monitoring and testing the materials used in both projects during and after construction.

66 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012

Bayside Mayor Cr Alex del Porto said Council was pleased to be part of an environmentally sound initiative that utilises a secondary resource like crushed glass in pavement rehabilitation works. ‘Maintaining pavements and roads is a fundamental service provided by all local governments and traditionally uses huge volumes of primary materials like sand and crushed rock,’ said Cr del Porto. ‘While these primary materials are readily available, and not yet considered a scarce resource, it is appropriate that we continue to explore and trial new technologies that utilise secondary materials like recycled glass that may otherwise end up in landfill. ‘Bayside Council is committed to providing superior workmanship using quality materials in all its capital works projects. We are equally committed to operating in an environmentally responsible way using environmentally sustainable methods and materials that do the least damage to the environment,’ he said. ‘This new technology meets Bayside Council’s criteria for both quality and environmental responsibility and we thank the MAV, Sustainability Victoria and VicRoads for giving our city a chance to be part of this important trial,’ he concluded.

roads, bridges + tunnels

PAYING FOR OUR ROADS By Roads Australia As councils along the east coast of Australia count the costs of the recent devastating flood events on local road infrastructure, national policymakers are increasingly focused on the long-term picture of how we fund the construction and maintenance of our road networks. Image © VicRoads


t’s a question that is of enormous interest to Australia’s peak stakeholder body for roads, Roads Australia (RA) – and one that will have implications on how local government funds road construction and maintenance in the future. Over the last decade, Roads Australia has emerged as one of the most important voices in the road transport space. Today it boasts over 70 members – among them state road and transport agencies, private road operators, constructors, consultants, materials and equipment suppliers, and representatives of the transport union, and the freight and motoring sectors. The funding and financing question is of such fundamental importance to those members that RA has formed a dedicated Policy Chapter focused on working with government and industry to identify and promote alternative funding and financing models. The same question is being addressed at the highest levels of government. In the 2011 Federal Budget, it was announced that Infrastructure Australia would set up an Infrastructure Financing Working Group to identify new ways of financing infrastructure.

recovering the cost of building and maintaining our urban roads, and sending the appropriate demand signals to users. Indeed, in its latest report to the Council of Australian Governments (June 2011) Infrastructure Australia goes so far as to say that it is unlikely to support any proposal for funding of major road projects that doesn’t incorporate a form of direct charging or tolling. For its part, Roads Australia is keen to see a sensible, informed community debate on the issue.

RA President, David Stuart-Watt, said that while the focus of Infrastructure Australia is on nation-building infrastructure projects, its investigations and recommendations will have implications on the roles and responsibilities of local government in managing its road assets.

In June this year, RA brought to Australia one of the world’s leading experts on road pricing, Jack Opiola of United States-based consultancy, D’Artagnan Consulting, to speak to its members at the annual two-day National Roads Summit in Sydney.

‘Our local roads are the first and last connections between producers and consumers.

Mr Opiola delivered the keynote address on the international trends that are driving road-user charging.

‘As a nation, it’s obviously important to address the needs of our national highway network and interstate freight routes, but equally we cannot neglect our local road networks,’ he said.

‘Despite the historic difficulties of implementing change in transport, we are in a transformational period,’ he told delegates.

‘Local government is struggling to meet the cost burden of building and maintaining its road infrastructure, and as such, has an equally vital interest in the question of how we pay for it.’ One answer might well be ‘user pays’. Infrastructure Australia, in particular, has been vocal in its support of road tolling or charging as a means of

According to Opiola, change is being driven by trends such as the shift in population from rural to urban areas, the cost of fuel and the move to hybrid technology and electric vehicles, and the ‘convergence’ of technology – the ability of tools like smartphones to provide a range of services, including paying for things such as parking and tolling. The convergence of these new technologies with new commercial opportunities in the marketplace is driving change in the way we look at road-user charging, he said. the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012 • 67

roads, bridges + tunnels

Right: EastLink, Victoria Below: Roads Australia President David Stuart-Watt

Opiola used the example of Portugal, which has the highest take-up of toll tags per capita in Europe. This has occurred because the tag operating ‘architecture’ is ‘open’ (available to the wider marketplace). As a result, people get their tags from a bank rather than a toll company, and use them to pay for everything from tolls to parking, petrol and drive-through fast food. ‘I think we have to develop new partnerships with people we haven’t worked with before – the banks, the credit card companies, and the like. We need to look to them to help us,’ he said. Mr Opiola also spoke about the trend in the United States towards Vehicle Miles Travelled (VMT) taxation to replace the falling revenue from gas tax. Legislation to introduce VMT is currently before the legislature in the US state of Oregon, with other US states watching closely.

‘On what basis such a charge might be levied – be it distance travelled, time of day, the environmental impact of the vehicle and/or its physical impact on the road surface – needs to be intensely scrutinised, particularly in the context of social equity and geographic issues.

While in Australia, Mr Opiola also spoke to a number of local government representatives about the challenges and opportunities for alternate road pricing mechanisms.

‘The question also arises as to how the revenue raised might be hypothecated to road use and operations (including public transport) and construction and maintenance.

David Stuart-Watt says that despite the political sensitivity surrounding the issue of road pricing, it’s important that, as a community, we canvass all options. ‘We believe there is a lack of clear information and evidence available to the community to have an informed discussion,’ he said. ‘For example, most road users mistakenly believe they “pay” for the construction and upkeep of roads through fuel tax and registration charges. The reality is that only a percentage of the fuel tax we pay at the pump goes back into the road network – nowhere near the amount required to adequately maintain existing roads and meet new capacity requirements. ‘The advocates of road pricing reform argue that a “user pays” approach, where indirect taxes and charges such as fuel excise and registration are replaced by some form of direct charging, is a much fairer and accountable approach.

68 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012

‘What is not in question is that efficient and effective land transport development requires long-term planning and assured long-term funding – and from that perspective, we’d like to see a broad, informed debate about what benefits road pricing reform might deliver.’ Recently, Roads Australia has facilitated a number of industry forums on road pricing to inform its members on developments and key stakeholder policy positions, both here and overseas. ‘We think we have an important role to play, not in advocating a position one way or the other, but in ensuring industry, government and the community have all the facts and a platform to discuss and debate the issues,’ Mr Stuart-Watt said. For more information about Roads Australia, visit

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How green is your council?

Choosing accredited GreenPower from Pacific Hydro is an easy and simple way to reduce your council’s greenhouse gas emissions. Pacific Hydro is a leading Australian renewable energy company, producing clean power from wind and water. For nearly 20 years, we have lived our vision – powering a cleaner world – by identifying, delivering and operating clean energy projects that deliver long term benefits to the environment, local communities and future generations. We pioneered the wind market in Australia in 2000 with the construction of the country’s first commercial wind farm at Codrington, Victoria. Today, we have six GreenPower accredited wind farms across Victoria and South Australia producing enough energy to supply over 150,000 homes and helping government and private organisations to meet their carbon reduction objectives. Visit and find out more about our accredited GreenPower products. Pacific Hydro. Supplier of

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Distributed and municipal renewable energy projects


n ever growing number of businesses, local authorities and communities are considering renewable energy projects to minimise the impact of non-renewable energy sources on their operations, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate their future energy costs. Given a reasonable wind resource, Wind Energy can offer a most cost effective and efficient solution, but the space and investment required for utility scale development precludes many at the community or municipal level from participating in the renewable revolution. Wind Prospect, a highly respected renewable energy developer and consultant, has partnered with Northern Power Systems, a US-based turbine manufacturer, to meet the burgeoning interest for more affordable local wind projects that address community and distributed scale applications. Size doesn’t matter Aside from the obvious difference in small residential applications and large multi-turbine utility wind farms, distributed wind turbines can come in many shapes and sizes. In community settings, the driver of which size to use tends to be how that community views the balance between turbine aesthetics and the economic impact of the project. It is all about producing power at the source where it’s needed. The benefits of community wind DO matter Bringing wind power directly to communities or municipal assets brings huge benefits to a wide array of stakeholders. This is why distributed wind is one of the fastest-growing segments in the global wind power industry today. The benefits of a distributed wind project can often be delivered through a small- to medium-sized turbine designed specifically to address the requirements of this sector. The Northern Power 100kW wind turbine is large enough to deliver significant savings in utility costs but small enough to avoid the high capital costs, complicated approvals and expensive interconnection requirements of utility scale turbines. The right amount of power and reliability A single Northern Power 100kW wind turbine – or a cluster of two or three – meets all the energy needs for most municipalities, schools, commercial farms and industrial sites. The elegantly designed NPS 100 features a low height profile and low noise levels, thereby fitting neatly into

X ••the 72 theaustralian australianlocal localgovernment governmentinFrastructure INFRASTRUCTUREyearbook yearbook2011/2012 2011/2012

local settings. Additionally, the gearless direct drive design virtually eliminates the need for scheduled maintenance. Town offices and facilities, waste water treatment plants, libraries A community-based wind power project needs more than just a reliable turbine to satisfy multi-faceted goals. Drawing on over 20 years of wind energy development expertise, Wind Prospect provides a one-stop consultancy and equipment supply package at an agreed price. We manage your project from concept to energisation. Wind Prospect’s wind services package set includes: • • • • •

Feasibility Studies - Site Selection Wind Monitoring and yield analysis Engineering design Turbine Supply - Northern Power 100KW wind turbine Construction project management.

Wind Prospect offers a no obligation, free site assessment service for municipalities or communities interested in small-scale wind projects.

environment, energy sustainability energy+and sustainability

Designed for low cost of energy The V112-3.0 MW turbine is the product of Vestas’ more than 30 years of knowledge and passion for wind power and the experience that comes with installing over 43,000 turbines in 66 countries in six continents. Vestas’ focus on constant innovation and on applying new technological solutions results in increased performance in our wind turbines and a lower cost of energy – ensuring a top-quality business case that generates a solid return on investment for our customers. Largest swept area esigned for low and medium wind speed sites, the V112-3.0 MW turbine delivers a highly competitive cost of energy. The turbine delivers high productivity due to its large swept area, higher rotor efficiency and better serviceability and reliability, which in turn improve availability. Its reliability is assured through Vestas’ state-of-the-art testing centre.


Excellent grid compliance The turbine design blends new, yet proven, technical advancements with established Vestas concepts from other platforms. Examples of existing concepts are the pitch and yaw system, control system and the free flow CoolerTop. A new concept is our GridStreamer™ technology, which provides excellent grid compliance for existing and future requirements, lower balance of plant costs and better system optimisation possibilities leading to higher production. Minimises loss of production The V112-3.0 MW provides maximum siting flexibility for customers worldwide as it is split into 70-tonne modules during transportation, enabling use of standard equipment and trailers. The turbine components are designed with modularity in mind. The resulting plug-and-play system makes it easier to service and hence minimises loss of production. To a large extent the modules are standard parts across the turbine platforms, leading to better control 74• •the theaustralian australianlocal localgovernment governmentinFrastructure INFRASTRUCTUREyearbook yearbook2011/2012 2011/2012 X

over the supply chain and faster component replacements. The V112-3.0 MW produces up to 13,405 MWh annually at a wind speed of 8.5 metres per second, which sets a new standard in this turbine class. This is enough to power more than 2600 average European homes.

Standard transportation equipment Cost of Energy is the combination of high annual energy production and reduced capital costs (e.g. lower foundation costs per MW). The V112-3.0 MW was designed to be serviced only once a year to minimise power loss. Main components have been optimised to ensure maximum reliability throughout their lifetime. This turbine, with its larger but modular nacelle, was designed for optimised transport, installation, operations and service. Parts for transportation will weigh no more than 70 tonnes. This allows for standard transportation equipment and avoids needing special transportation licences – making transport easier and cheaper. More energy with less wind A very important specification is the rotor-to-generatorratio. The V112-3.0MW will cut in at lower wind speeds (i.e. three metres per second), and the power curve will be steeper. This produces more energy, faster and at lower wind speeds. In general, every feature has been designed to lower the Cost of Energy and increase Business Case Certainty. This makes the turbine produce a little more energy – which lowers the Cost of Energy. It also shows that we are moving in the right direction, developing our turbines to produce more energy with less wind. This turbine was designed to deliver the lowest Cost of Energy with the maximum Business Case Certainty to the customer. Vestas’ proven technology offers lighter weight turbines that are easy to maintain and repair. The result: Lower costs. Learn more about the V112-3.0 MW turbine at or visit for more information about Vestas.

Agenda Setter this new generation wind turbine is for you. Clean, reliable, affordable energy. If you had said those words 30 years ago, few people would have thought of wind power. Except at Vestas. Since then it has been our mission to make wind energy exactly that. By developing ever more efficient turbines like our new V112-3.0 MW. By using technologies proven in 40,000 turbines working worldwide. And by designing turbines that are 80% recyclable and carbon neutral within 8 months of operation. For more on how our relentless commitment to wind energy can help you,


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environment, energy + sustainability

Wind energy FOR LOCAL INFRASTRUCTURE By Siegfried Angerer, Director of Research Innovation and Education Development, The Australian Wind Energy Institute Municipal authorities throughout Australia are in the process of developing energy efficiency policies for green buildings and local infrastructure. Discussion about community energy generation is becoming more prevalent as councils struggle with the increasing costs of public infrastructure, waste and water management. In the last 10 years, considerable progress has been made with the installation and integration of solar technologies. However, many local councils are struggling with the concept of developing an energy plan that integrates energy efficiency and energy generation.

Above: Challicum Hills Wind Farm in Victoria

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art of the problem is that state and federal legislation restricts the development of community energy ownership. These are important policies that grow local jobs and support local businesses. Another issue is the lack of policy clarity in relation to energy grid access. Unrestricted access will enable the construction of smart micro-grids for use by smaller localities. Electricity privatisation and the lack of grid maintenance during the last 20 years are the critical infrastructure issues facing Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s renewable energy debate. Professionals working in the renewable energy field in Australia recognise that the carbon tax and climate change debates do not address the key issues of pollution reduction and energy price stability. Advanced European countries already calculate returns on both the community-owned energy generated, as well as the avoided cost of centralised energy generation, through investment allowances and tax rebates for energy efficiency. Australian policy-makers continue to lag behind the rest of the developed world. Australia is behind India, China, Kenya, Malaysia, Tanzania and countries in South America that have implemented comprehensive feed-in tariff policies supported by eight- to 15-year investment redeeming periods, but that also provide generous tax credits for green buildings and infrastructure construction. The lack of consensus on critical environmental issues in Australian politics enforces an artificial political chasm between local, state and federal governments who remain divided on petty political party lines, which are in turn exploited by powerful lobby groups. This forces consumer energy prices up and avoids key concerns about consumer privacy and creeping third-party inflation that increase costs to local councils, schools, kindergartens, hospitals

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Australia is blessed with some of the best offshore and near shore wind resources in the world; however, we have no state or national policy that enables price stability within the current Australian Energy Market Operator pricing structure. and other public services and infrastructure. It also raises concerns over insurance, maintenance and rising service costs for uneconomical infrastructure that is increasingly seen as a net cost item under tight budget conditions. In the United States and Europe, this reality was recognised long ago.

farms entail. By the same token, many local councils are working on zero carbon emission policies for green buildings and small- to medium-scale community-owned generation capacity in line with the Victorian Hepburn Springs example. The debate about building integrated wind turbines rages in every corner of state bureaucracy.

The answer lies in the empowerment of local communities, which are seen as the agent for delivering national energy security, and as essential in reducing fossil fuel dependence over time. In Europe and the United States, the discussions are not about climate change or even the reduction of carbon emissions. The discussions are about the mechanisms that enable the transition from a fossil-fuel based economy to a low carbon economy, where each segmented smart micro-grid community forms a part of a national essential services supply grid. Even the United States Congress has recently ratified the Smart Grid Interoperability standard SGIP recommendations that division of the national electricity, water and gas supply grids must be a priority for national security reasons because it provides a defence against terrorism and natural disasters, whilst ensuring lower carbon emissions and lower fossil fuel dependence at the same time.

During a recent small wind forum at the Clean Energy Council, the point was made that integrating small wind turbines into existing buildings would have to be opposed by the council on the grounds of structural residual noise, and visual impact building legislation. Distributed two-way power generation capacity is integral to Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s low carbon future. Despite this, the advisory body remains committed to enforcing a renewable energy target scheme that calculates renewable energy credits as a total metered generation in retrospect of rated capacity, instead of realtime energy generation.

Whilst Martin Ferguson sits on the Energy Security White Paper, the rest of Australia waits for answers. There is no integrated policy that provides a policy direction for the development of offshore and near shore wind power. The United Kingdom has adopted a policy that states that 50 per cent of its power will be delivered from offshore wind sources by 2050. In Australia, we have no such policy. In fact, the Victorian Government Department of Sustainability is actively campaigning against offshore wind turbines, despite the fact that the costs are between 14 and 18 cents per kilowatt hour, with minimal grid integration costs as offshore turbines are easily located close to major cities.

This is reinforced by the large wind sector, which continues to endorse the 2001 Howard Government enacted Renewable Energy Act, which states that any wind turbine above 10 kilowatts, and any solar facility above 100 kilowatts, is to be classified as a power station. This regulatory and legislative impediment restricts local councils from developing community-owned two-way grid integrated distributed power generation facilities. It does so because it forces councils to enter into PPA agreements with respective utility companies, as well as grid connect

Australia is blessed with some of the best offshore and near shore wind resources in the world; however, we have no state or national policy that enables price stability within the current Australian Energy Market Operator pricing structure, which, as a result, avoids all community, environmental and planning impacts that onshore wind the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012 â&#x20AC;˘ 77

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Codrington Wind Farm

agreements with grid owners, ensuring a negotiated minimum spot price on all excess energy supplied to the grid. The question that no-one dares to ask is whether council- and/or community-owned wind power generation systems retrofitted to streetlights, buildings, highways, bridges and located in public spaces are deemed power stations if: a) the power generation capacity of each unit is below 10 kilowatts, but the total generation capacity of many hundreds of small wind units exceeds the 10-kilowatt power station requirement, or b) the integration of wind and solar generation with coand tri-generation capacity that exceeds 10 kilowatts will require any building or building cluster within a designated micro-grid to register as a power station. Without any investment incentives for the avoided cost of generation, and without a comprehensive feed-in tariff that incorporates all energy efficiency and energy generation capacity types, local councils are faced with the prospect of leveraging their integrated renewable energy efficiency and energy generation plans against building and rate revenue assets under current state legislation. This manner of raising finance was declared as the solicitation for a non-enforceable second mortgage under United States banking regulations in 2010 by United States Supreme Court ruling. The fact that various Australian states allow this inflationary investment scheme to proceed will ultimately require a review by property owners.

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This is significant for the small and medium wind sector, because the industry continues to remain in a legislative and regulatory hiatus of council planning that lacks an appropriate investment redemption scheme equivalent to the solar energy sector. In addition, the wind sector has to battle a negative community perception, despite the fact that the issues facing the solar installation industry far outweigh the recent Pink Batts fiasco. By the same token, the community accepts thousands of television, radio and microwave aerials and towers, and the residual background noises created by trucks, planes, helicopters, cars, buses and rock concerts that are far in excess of the most poorly maintained wind turbine. Many communities and councils are now seriously considering following the Hepburn Springs example. These include many rural shires and urban councils, such as the Sunshine Coast council, Armadale Council and Adelaide Hills council. In rural and semi-rural areas, local farming groups are beginning to form cooperatives to stave the rising cost that may result in losing their farms. Community farmers are at the forefront of the local renewable energy movement. However, many of these groups are restricted due to grid access requirements and the inconsistent application by the grid owners to grant access. In urban communities, the European idea of integrating distributed small-scale wind power into energy corridors, parks and reserves as well as rooftop housing is just beginning to take hold.

environment, energy + sustainability

environment, energy + sustainability

Australia’s first commercial wind farm celebrates 10 years

Pacific Hydro Codrington Wind Farm


Lane Crockett - Pacific Hydro General Manager Australia

eading Australian renewable energy company Pacific Hydro celebrated in 2011 the tenth successful year of operation of its first wind development, the Codrington Wind Farm.

Mr Crockett added that the project is registered to create renewable energy certificates (RECs) under the Federal Government Renewable Energy Target (RET) Legislation.

Located near Port Fairy, in south west Victoria, the Codrington Wind Farm was Australia’s first commercial wind farm and the largest in the country when it was officially opened in 2001. It not only signalled the start of a new industry in the Australia, it enabled a number of local businesses to expand and diversify.

‘The RET obliges companies such as electricity retailers to purchase the minimum percentage of renewable energy for their customers through the purchase of RECs from accredited projects’, explained Mr Crockett.

Pacific Hydro General Manager for Australia, Mr Lane Crockett, said that the company is proud of the long-term social, economic and environmental benefits they have delivered over the last ten years. ‘During the ten years it has been in operation, the project has made a number of positive social impacts through the local Sustainable Communities Fund, a pioneering initiative in the industry’, said Mr Crockett. ‘The Codrington/Yambuk Sustainable Communities Fund has injected over $280,000 into 63 local community projects that help to support social and environmental programs locally.’ The Codrington Wind Farm has already abated more than half a million tonnes of harmful greenhouse gas emissions and produced 437,895 MWh of electricity - or the equivalent energy needs of around 10,000 homes annually.

‘The Codrington Wind Farm is also accredited to produce GreenPower, which allows government and private organisations to voluntarily purchase renewable energy. In doing so, these organisations are directly reducing their carbon emissions over and above what is required under the mandatory RET scheme.’ Pacific Hydro has six GreenPower accredited wind farms across Victoria and South Australia producing enough energy to supply over 150,000 homes and helping government and private organisations to meet their carbon reduction objectives. In addition to wind farms, Pacific Hydro operates hydro power plants in Victoria and Western Australia. The company also has interests in conventional geothermal development and is part of the consortium selected through Solar Flagships to build Australia’s largest solar PV power station in Moree, New South Wales.

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Coastal councils FACE CLIMATE CHANGE DILEMMA By Alan Stokes, Executive Director, National Sea Change Taskforce Australia’s coastal councils are attempting to deal with a complex and difficult range of pressures. One of the most challenging of these is how to respond effectively to the impacts of climate change. Exacerbating this dilemma is the current public controversy over whether or not climate change is real, and to what extent greenhouse gas emissions generated by human activity are responsible for it. 80 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012


aving firm views on either side of this debate is of little relevance, however, when it comes to responding to the potential risks of rising sea levels and more frequent and severe extreme weather events. Legal experts advise that what is more important is the position being adopted by the courts and planning appeals tribunals around Australia; the prevailing view of these bodies is that climate change is a legal reality and must be addressed as such. Councils come under considerable pressure from developers and state governments to allow residential developments in what are considered to be prime coastal locations. As the responsible authority, however, the council is required to take a risk management approach to planning decisions affecting these areas in order to make sure that people and their property are not placed at risk from the climate change impacts that scientists warn are inevitable. The tension between these conflicting pressures is often difficult for councils to resolve satisfactorily. On the one hand, if they approve a development in what is considered to be a potentially vulnerable location, they face the risk of legal liability at some point in the future if the property is damaged as a result of inundation or coastal erosion. On the other hand, if they refuse the development application, they are frequently faced with having to defend the decision in a costly legal action in a land and environment court or planning appeals tribunal. In effect, they can find themselves facing a situation in which they are ‘damned if they do and damned if they don’t’.

environment, energy + sustainability

Coastal councils are struggling to meet increasing demands for infrastructure and services in their communities without adequate funding support from state or federal governments. This dilemma is acknowledged in Section 733 of the New South Wales Local Government Act, which provides local councils with a measure of indemnification in relation to planning decisions that are made ‘in good faith’. New South Wales is the only state to provide such indemnification, but there is growing support for the introduction of similar legislation in other jurisdictions. Apart from the legal complexities of dealing with climate change adaptation, there are other implications that must be dealt with. For many years coastal communities have experienced population growth at levels well above the national average. Between 1997 and 2010 the population of coastal areas outside the nation’s metropolitan areas increased by two million people – from 4.9 million to 6.9 million. This has resulted in large numbers of people being housed in areas now considered vulnerable to the risk of inundation associated with rising sea levels and extreme weather events, as witnessed in Queensland in early 2011. But while significant numbers of people have moved to the coast over the past decade or so, resources have not moved with them. As a result, coastal councils are struggling to meet increasing demands for infrastructure and services in their communities without adequate funding support from state or federal governments.

accurate information on tourists and other visitors is not factored into the resource allocation formula for coastal councils, despite the fact that these councils have to build capacity for frequent population peaks into local infrastructure and services. This places coastal councils at a significant disadvantage in keeping pace with the continuing increase in demand for local community infrastructure and services, and at meeting the considerable costs involved in rebuilding or relocating infrastructure such as roads, water and sewerage systems to withstand the projected impacts of climate change. So, what of the future? How could these various challenges be addressed? One obvious measure to deal with the issue of legal liability is law reform, as suggested earlier, to give coastal councils a greater measure of protection when they make what are frequently difficult and unpopular planning decisions. One other pressing issue is gaining the resources required to conduct a climate change vulnerability assessment and risk analysis. This is a major challenge for

This situation is compounded by the current methodology for collecting population data in the census, which understates the number of people who depend on basic infrastructure and services in coastal communities. The census is conducted at five-yearly intervals in the middle of the week in mid-winter. As a result it does not capture data on the large number of people who would otherwise be in these communities at weekends or at other times of the year. The permanent population in the Bass Coast local government area on Victoria’s eastern coastline, for example, is 29,000 according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics data. The Bass Coast Shire Council, however, has calculated that during the ChristmasNew Year period and other holiday peaks, there are approximately 77,000 people living in the local community, with the number increasing even further when there are major sporting events on Phillip Island. Most coastal communities experience similar fluctuations between population numbers in midwinter and mid-summer, and during the week compared with weekends. What this means is that

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smaller councils in particular, who may individually lack the funds or personnel to undertake such a task. One group of councils in south-west Western Australia has decided to solve this by pooling resources and forming a regional grouping, known as the Peron-Naturalist Initiative, to carry out the work required. They have since gained funding support for the project through the Federal Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. Another important issue for councils is making sure that they engage and communicate effectively with their local community over the issue of climate change. Several coastal councils, including Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, Bass Coast Shire and Moyne Shire Council, have developed successful engagement strategies, which involve gaining community participation and input at an early stage in the process of developing an adaptation plan. Finding feasible solutions to dealing with climate change risks will become increasingly urgent in the face of rapidly expanding coastal communities. The third Intergenerational Report, released by Treasury in February 2010, estimated that the national population will increase by 64 per cent to reach 36 million by 2050. This is eight million higher than previously estimated in the Intergenerational Report 2007, and 14 million higher than the current population. The National Sea Change Taskforce has analysed the revised figures and considered a range of future population scenarios. This analysis suggests that the capital cities are unlikely to grow by more than 60 per cent over the next 40 years, from 13.7 million to 21.9 million, due to geographical constraints and other limiting factors such as water supplies, transport and housing densities. This means that the remaining 5.8 million people will need to be accommodated elsewhere, and the most likely scenario is that they will seek to settle in non-metro coastal areas. This projected increase is in addition to the one million ‘baby boomers’ planning to retire to coastal areas between 2010 and 2026. The combined effect of this growth will be to increase population in coastal areas by 94 per cent by 2050 – from 6.8 million to 13.2 million. The current resource base of LGAs in coastal areas is inadequate to meet the level of demand for the economic, social and environmental 82 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012

infrastructure that will be generated by growth of this magnitude. The scale of population increase by 2050 highlights the need for a national growth management plan as an integral part of a sustainable population strategy. The objective of the growth management plan would be to ensure that future growth is managed effectively and that adequate provision is made to meet projected demand for infrastructure and services. One of the objectives of such a plan would be to prevent the location of urban settlements in areas that are vulnerable to the impact of climate change. The consequences of allowing intensive development to occur in such vulnerable areas have been clearly demonstrated in the recent major flooding events in Queensland. Another critical objective would be to prevent the loss of productive agricultural land in the coastal zone. This is essential if the nation is to achieve food security for an increased population, recognising that some of our most productive rural land in an era of global warming is in the coastal hinterland. Growth management at this national scale is clearly beyond the capacity of state and local government. It requires the Australian Government to play a national leadership role in a collaborative effort involving all three tiers of government. The Australian Government has previously adopted this sort of leadership role in relation to the development of cities and regions under the Department of Urban and Regional Development in the early 1970s and the Building Better Cities Program in the early 1990s. Given the challenges that lie ahead, it is time that the Commonwealth adopted this approach again. Alan Stokes is Executive Director of the National Sea Change Taskforce, a position he has held since 2004. His professional background is in journalism and broadcasting. He has also worked in the local government sector. The National Sea Change Taskforce was established in 2004 as a national body to represent the interests of coastal councils and communities experiencing the effects of rapid population growth and climate change.

environment,energy energy++ sustainability sustainability environment,

Street Furniture helps reduce bottled water use


treet Furniture Australia is an official partner and major sponsor of Go Tap!, an environmental campaign that aims to reduce bottled water use in Australia. Go Tap! is led by environmental activist Jon Dee, co-founder of Do Something! and Planet Ark. Jon Dee says: ‘When you reduce the usage of bottled water you’re not just saving the environment, you’re also saving your wallet at the same time. It makes total sense whether you’re a government department or whether you’re a company, whether it’s in smaller bottles or the larger bottles that get delivered to offices.’ To assist Go Tap!, Street Furniture’s research and development team have developed the eco-friendly Arqua Station. The Arqua Station features a sculptured drinking fountain and separate refill station (with optional filter) to allow for easy public access to a fresh water supply and easy replenishment of refillable bottles. Since launching the Arqua Fountain, Go Tap! and Street Furniture are proud to have realised some groundbreaking projects.

In September 2009, Bundanoon, NSW, became Australia’s first bottled water–free town. The local community voted to ban the sale of bottled water in the town in July that year. In July 2010, Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College in NSW, became Australia’s first bottled water–free high school. In this student-led initiative, six Arqua Stations were installed in the girls’ school to supply fresh water to 1100 students. In January 2011, the University of Canberra, ACT, became Australia’s first bottled water–free university. The campus has a population of 13,000 students and staff and the introduction of Arqua Stations has helped curb the consumption of 140,000 bottles of water on campus annually. Street Furniture is proud to continue it’s environmental work with GoTap! and to encourage community groups to ‘refill, not landfill’.

For more about Arqua Stations, visit

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Saving energy and water

Makes good business sense By Eric Aubert, Media Relations Officer, Ku-ring-gai council Ku-ring-gai Council on Sydney’s north shore is becoming a leader in environmental sustainability by embracing a range of new technologies to save energy and water.


state-of-the-art solar panel system has been installed on the roof of a new administration building in Pymble as part of a plan to improve energy efficiency at council-owned sites. Mayor Ian Cross said the 108 panels will produce around 25,000 kilowatts of renewable energy per year – the equivalent of taking more than six cars off the road. ‘The project will also save council around $5000 each year in electricity costs,’ he said. ‘Renewable energy is the way of the future and I’m pleased that council is investing in this technology, which helps the environment and saves money.’

technology and water sensitive urban design. It recently won a Keep Australia Beautiful Sustainable Cities Award for an innovative project that is extracting water from a disused green waste rubbish tip for toilet flushing and irrigation at the nearby St Ives Showground and council nursery. The $800,000 project uses what is known as leachate, a naturally occurring liquid by-product that seeps from landfill. This is captured from underneath the tip site and pumped into a storage dam before being treated to ensure it’s at an acceptable standard for irrigation and toilet flushing.

Solar panels have also been installed on the roof of the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden’s education centre, making it almost completely self-sufficient in terms of electricity use.

As the decommissioned tip was used only for green waste, the leachate is clean and free of harmful chemicals, but the system will treat it as an additional precaution. The system is expected to capture around 10 million litres of water per year – enough to fill four Olympic-sized swimming pools.

In 2010, council approved a $1 million energy efficiency initiative with the aim of cutting its own greenhouse emissions by 20 per cent over the next 10 years.

The nursery and showground are two of council’s top 10 water-using sites, so the project will provide significant savings in drinking water and also cut council’s water bill.

Projects under the initiative include solar hot water systems, photovoltaic panels, motion sensors and pushbutton timers for lights, ceramic paint insulation for roofs and walls, and appliance upgrades. New energy-efficient LED lights have also been installed at Council Chambers.

Ku-ring-gai Council also has a program to install stormwater harvesting systems at local sports fields for use as irrigation. Ten local stormwater harvesting systems are either completed or under construction.

Ku-ring-gai Council is also at the forefront of water-saving 86 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012

The council has joined a consortium of Sydney councils and state government organisations in the Cities as Water

environment, energy + sustainability Far left: Pymble depot solar panels Left: Gordon Golf Course sewer mining plant

$830,000 to the project, with the remaining $1.37 million coming from the council’s Golf Course Improvement Reserve. ‘Council has worked closely with Sydney Water, Department of Environment and Climate Change, NSW Public Works and Water and NSW Health,’ Councillor Cross said.

Supply Catchments, a national research program that aims to progress the use of stormwater for non-drinking purposes. Reflecting the council’s position as a leader in this field, local sites have been chosen for monitoring as part of the project. An investigation into current practice as part of the program had almost half of the included case studies from New South Wales being local Ku-ring-gai projects. Council has also committed to wastewater reuse, commonly referred to as ‘sewer mining’, at both of its golf courses, making the sites almost completely self-sufficient in terms of water supply for irrigation. A $2.2 million project at Gordon Golf Course involved tapping into three Sydney Water sewer pipes underneath the golf course to extract wastewater, which is then treated at the plant and used for irrigation. The sewer mining plant harvests up to 110,000 kilolitres of water each year – enough to fill 44 Olympicsized swimming pools. Water from the plant is used for the greens and fairways. The fairways had not previously had irrigation, so this provides an added benefit for the course. Sydney Water recycled water strategist Ian Hammerton congratulated Ku-ring-gai Council for initiating the project and increasing the amount of water recycled in Sydney. ‘Recycling plays an important part in the New South Wales Government’s Metropolitan Water Plan, with 35.8 billion litres of water recycled last financial year in Sydney and the Illawarra for residential, business, irrigation and environmental purposes. This figure will rise to 70 billion litres by 2015,’ Mr Hammerton said. Councillor Cross said the plant, built by Innaco Pty Ltd, used membrane bioreactor technology, a biological treatment and filtration process that produced high-quality recycled water. ‘This is really cutting-edge technology that further builds on Ku-ring-gai Council’s success in reducing water consumption,’ Councillor Cross said. ‘The recycled water is to be stored in two large tanks, which feed into the golf course’s irrigation system.’ Councillor Cross said the New South Wales Government’s Climate Change Fund had contributed

‘Together they have developed strict health and safety guidelines for this sewer mining project.’ Mr Hammerton said sewer mining was an innovative way to reuse wastewater, which would otherwise be discarded. ‘Sydney Water has been working with business customers on sewer mining projects for several years,’ Mr Hammerton said. ‘The Pennant Hills and Beverley Park golf courses were among the first schemes to begin operating, and it’s great to have Gordon Golf Course on board.’ Sewer mining is becoming increasingly popular in commercial office buildings, with Workplace 6 at Pyrmont installing a water recycling plant in their new building. Construction is underway for a second sewer mining plant at the council’s North Turramurra Golf Course. This $4.2 million project will supply water for irrigating both the course and the new playing fields planned for the North Turramurra Recreation Area, and also includes a stormwater harvesting system. The sewer mining part of the project will use cuttingedge technology to extract and treat up to 300,000 litres of water per day from sewerage flowing through a nearby Sydney Water sewer main. ‘The potential is enormous considering North Turramurra Golf Course is council’s highest water consuming facility, accounting for 16 per cent of our total water usage,’ said Councillor Cross. A tender to design, build and operate the sewer mining facility was won by engineering firm Henry and Hymas. The project involves use of membrane bioreactor technology, the same as Gordon Golf Course. The treatment extracts clean water from the sewerage by sucking it through fine membranes. This water is then treated with UV light and chlorination before being used for irrigation and other non-drinking uses around the course. The process will also reduce sewerage discharges to North Head Sewage Treatment Plant, providing a further environmental benefit. Councillor Cross said the project will further build on Council’s success in cutting water consumption and boosting sustainability of local parks, ovals and golf courses. the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012 • 87

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Infrastructure sustainability and investment FINDING THE RIGHT BALANCE By Mark Rogers, Deputy Chair, Australian Green Infrastructure Council


n June last year I wrote in the AGIC newsletter about the importance of sustainability – and environment, social and government (ESG) issues – in the investment process for both new and existing infrastructure assets. What has become clear over the last 12 months is that in many cases these issues are now proving critical. Over the last year, we have seen a raft of ESG issues directly impacting infrastructure asset performance and, equally importantly, on investment performance. The tsunami in Fukushima, the earthquakes in Christchurch, and the flooding throughout the east coast of Australia are just a few examples of how nature has ravaged our infrastructure. The key issue emerging from these events, aside from the terrible tragedy involved when human life is lost, is that design principles for many infrastructure assets were inadequate to deal with the impacts of these rare events. The Fukushima example also demonstrates that, aside from the obvious engineering and operational issues that arose at that particular asset, these incidents have much more far-reaching policy and regulatory consequences, including the potential to set the expansion of the nuclear generation sector back many years. Germany has in fact solidified its policy of closure of all existing nuclear power generation facilities post the Fukushima event. A more interesting example from the last 12 months relates to a ‘social licence to operate’ issue in the airport investment space. In May 2010, the United Kingdom Government announced that plans to build a third runway at Heathrow Airport would be scrapped, and that a bipartisan government decision would effectively ban such a development from happening in the future. This announcement was made after significant opposition to the proposed runway development from councils, residents and green groups who could not tolerate continued growth in aircraft noise and an ever-expanding airport precinct. BAA, which owns and operates Heathrow Airport, would have found this decision, from an investment performance perspective, to be quite distressing as no doubt they would have factored further aircraft growth into their business model and their investment case in determining their purchase price for the asset. The investment horizon for an asset like this would probably be many decades. These examples highlight the fact that ESG risks to infrastructure assets are, in many cases, critical business continuity issues that can significantly affect investment 88 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012

performance and operational integrity. Given that many infrastructure assets provide crucial, and in some instances monopoly, services to the wider economy and the community, their continued operation is imperative. To ensure that these risks are appropriately addressed and benchmarked across infrastructure sectors, asset owners, operators, designers and builders need to identify these risks, design for them to ensure business continuity, and factor them into their investment decisions. The Australian Green Infrastructure Council’s infrastructure rating scheme will provide a next generation risk assessment and industry benchmarking tool that will assist asset owners in identifying and managing ESG risks for both existing and new build infrastructure assets.

Mark Rogers is the Associate Director, Infrastructure Investment for Colonial First State and Deputy Chair of the Australian Green Infrastructure Council. Mark has been part of the AGIC Board and journey since August 2009. Mark’s role on the AGIC Board also extends to Leader of the Education and Training Working Group. The group is charged with the task of developing a training and education package for the AGIC National Rating Tool for Infrastructure. Expressions of interest closed on 1 August 2011 for the second round of pilot trials to market-test the tool prior to its launch. The plan is to test the scheme on 10 to 12 projects around Australia. The National Rating Scheme is currently on course for its national launch in Canberra in February 2012. Readers can receive regular updates on AGIC activities by emailing

environment,energy energy++sustainability sustainability –– solar environment, Windorah Cultural Centre, part of the Barcoo Shire Council Ingenero solar challenge.

30kW solar PV installation at Jundah Sports Centre, part of Barcoo Shire Council.

Helping local Energy independence governments using the achieve their brightest minds in solar sustainability goals through solar


ocal governments play a key role in informing the community about sustainability and installing solar power is an effective and highly visible way to lead by example. The Ingenero Solar Challenge is an initiative to help local governments and councils generate their own renewable energy, a key component in becoming more sustainable. Queensland’s Barcoo Shire Council took up the challenge to reduce their carbon footprint and achieve their environmental goals by installing four solar power systems across four community buildings in Jundah and Windorah. The 72 kilowatt (kW) installation package included a 30kW system at the Jundah Sports Centre, a 2kW system at the Jundah Administration Centre, another 30kW system at the Windorah Cultural Centre and a 10kW system at the Windorah Sports Centre.

Ingenero specialises in the design, construction and operation of solar power installations. Our team of solar architects and project managers have designed and constructed Australia’s largest rooftop solar system as well as some of the most complex solar systems in Australia, such as... • University of Queensland - 1.2MW rooftop installation, the largest in Australia • Alice Springs Airport - 235kW CPV solar power station, generates 28% of the airport’s power • Barcoo Shire Council, QLD - 72kW solar PV installation, over four council buildings • Southern Regional Livestock Exchange, NSW - 30kW ground mount system with Wingecarribee Shire Council • Marrickville Council, NSW - 30kW rooftop installation as part of their Energy Saving Action Plan.

This solar solution meant Barcoo Shire Council could switch from diesel-generated energy to solar power with ease. Now the solar energy generated can be showcased to its community, staff and stakeholders using Ingenero’s performance monitoring software, EcoWatt. This real-time, web-based monitoring system allows Barcoo Shire Council to access the performance of its solar investment as well as educate the community about its sustainability commitment. Talk to Ingenero about your sustainability goals. For a feasibility assessment contact Patrick Greene on 0430 494 295.

For local government and commercial enquiries call Patrick Greene 0430 494 295

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parks, gardens + equipment

Garden plants invade

the wider environment By Annette ten Broeke, NSW Department of Primary Industries Parks and gardens are amongst Australia’s finest features, and contribute to making our country a beautiful place to live. Typically, they are owned and managed by councils or other government bodies, Australian families or private organisations.


nfortunately, some of the plants growing in parks and gardens can be harmful to the wider environment, and many garden owners and managers are not aware of this. Some 65 percent of Australia’s weeds or invasive plants are escapees from parks and gardens (‘Jumping the Garden Fence – Invasive garden plants in Australia and their environmental and agricultural impacts’ – A CSIRO report for WWF Australia). Weeds cost Australia in excess of $4 billion per year (CRC for Australian Weed Management). This cost is shared between weed control in agricultural areas and in natural environments – along waterways, on roadsides, in bushland and in designated national parks.

Flora and fauna threatened The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities website (www.environment. lists threatened Australian flora, fauna and ecological communities. It is disturbing that some 113 species of flora are critically endangered and 530 are listed as endangered, while 40 fauna species are critically endangered and 143 fauna species are endangered. Not all of these species are threatened by invasive plants or weeds; however, weeds are a significant contributing factor.

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There are many examples of garden escapees that can easily be seen invading bushland, and this is particularly noticeable along waterways. To illustrate the significance of garden escapees as a component of the weed problem, the following list of the ten most common weeds in parks according to Parks Victoria clearly shows that many of the important weeds originate from gardens. Almost every plant listed escaped from gardens after their introduction into Australia. Similar lists of the most significant weeds in parks or bushland are available for each state and territory. Trees

Sweet Pittosporum Pittosporum undulatum


Blackberry Rubus fructicosus

Paterson’s Curse Echium plantagineum

Gorse Ulex europaeus

African Boxthorn Lycium ferocissimum

Sweet Briar Rosa rubiginosa

parks, gardens + equipment Nasturtiums and other climbers overtaking bushland near Geelong, Victoria

Climbers/Creepers Bridal Creeper Asparagus asparagoides Grasses/Herbs

Spear Thistle Cirsium vulgare

Horehound Marrubium vulgare

St Johns Wort Hypericum perforatum

More evidence illustrating the impact of garden escapees is seen in the list of Weeds of National Significance (WoNS), which includes the well-known garden escapees blackberry, bridal creeper, gorse and lantana. The 20 WoNS are Australia’s worst invasive plants, and were selected because they degrade large portions of Australia’s natural and productive landscape, and require action at a national level to reduce their impact. The Weeds Australia website ( lists these WoNS, and outlines the strategies and control programs in place to tackle the problems that they cause. Educating the community and the caretakers of public land is an important step in recognising the problems that weeds cause, and empowering these people to act in a way that will impact on the ever-increasing weed problem. Parks and gardens managers and owners of home gardens need to use similar steps if they are to contribute to the reduction of weeds for the good of the wider environment.

Reducing the weed problem These six key steps need to be considered in control programs. They are similar to any other management cycle. Step 1: Identify the problem Become familiar with the plants on the noxious weeds list. Noxious or declared plants are those where legislation requires weeds to be controlled. In each state and territory, different authorities are responsible for the legislation that outlines requirements for these weeds. To identify the lead agency and lists of noxious or declared plants, two comprehensive websites are helpful: Weeds in Australia ( for lists of all legislation and agencies state by state, and Weeds Australia ( for a searchable database of weeds. On a regional level, look at plant lists prepared by local

councils or other regional environmental departments or groups. These lists generally indicate significant local plants and their potential to become weedy plants in a particular local environment. Step 2: Understand the behaviour of the potential weedy plants Weedy plants have some of the following features: • adaptability to many environments • the excellent ability to spread, either via their ability to produce large numbers of viable seeds that are spread by the wind, birds or animals eating the fruit, or they have adapted to ‘hitchhiking’ on clothing, vehicles or by other means, e.g. seeds with hooks or spikes • vegetative reproduction, either by rapidly producing daughter plants or having new plants form as pieces break off, or from roots forming at the nodes as the plant creeps along the ground • having seeds that remain viable over long periods – sometimes for many years • vigorous germination and growth. Often the seedlings germinate first after rain and grow quickly, using up the water or nutrients and out-competing other plants as they germinate. Their quick growth shades or smothers other plants. Step 3: Identification of problem plants Before implementing a control program, it is important to correctly identify the weeds, as some desirable plants – especially natives – can be very similar in appearance. It is helpful to be able to identify weeds at the seedling stage, as this is the time when they are easiest to control. This is usually more difficult than identifying adult plants with flowers or fruit. There are many useful books, brochures, websites and courses available to assist enthusiasts to learn the skill of identifying plants. The New South Wales Department of Primary Industries has a weed training program that includes several courses on weed identification, with similar courses found in other states.

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Volunteers learning about garden escapees in Western Australia

In local communities, there are usually skilled nursery operators, weed officers with councils or government departments, or keen environmentalists who are prepared to share their skills in plant identification. The herbaria or botanical gardens offer plant identification services if a formal identification is required. Step 4: Choose an appropriate control program Once the weedy plants are identified, appropriate control measures can be put in place. The choice of control options will depend on the features of the weeds, and the sensitivity of non-target plants in the area. The most effective control programs involve integrated weed management using several control options that work together to achieve a better result. Different options may be required for seedlings, mature plants and plants that have already reproduced. It is critical to safely dispose of weedy plant material, particularly from plants that spread vegetatively or have viable seeds. The Weeds Australia website has more detail on control methods, and the ‘tips for gardeners’ section includes links to factsheets that provide details for control options centred on four different types of plants, i.e. creeping plants, windspread plants, plants with large seeds, or fruit and plants spread by bulbs, tubers or corms. Step 5: Replace with safer plants Good control programs must include a plant replacement program, because weeds love bare spaces and quickly re-invade the space created by successful control programs. Selecting safer plants requires knowledge of plants suitable for the local environment. Indigenous natives are often recommended, and the challenge is in sourcing these plants. Not all imported plants are weeds, and plants that have not demonstrated weedy characteristics can be chosen. The Nursery and Garden Industry Australia has developed a program primarily for home gardeners, called ‘Grow me instead’, which recommends safer alternatives. Their website ( provides links to plant selection information for each state and useful information on controlling weeds.

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There is an opportunity for parks and gardens managers, landscape designers, and those who manage streetscapes to take the lead by removing invasive plants, and recommending and planting safer alternatives. Councils approving new developments can ensure that they do not add to the problem by providing guidelines when development applications are approved. Step 6: Monitor progress Weed control and establishment of safer alternatives in their place is costly, time-consuming, and requires ongoing attention. Weedy plants are invasive because of their ability to survive and regenerate even in the most adverse conditions. There are many volunteer groups (e.g. Bushcare, Coastcare and Landcare, as well as the ‘Friends of …’ groups) that are passionate about assisting with the process, and with encouragement and funding, these groups can make a significant contribution. Many avenues exist for garden escapees to be reduced, but this will not occur through passive indifference. People with a passion for beautifying the landscape are invited to play a key role in reversing the growing weed problem under initiatives that attack the problem at its roots. The problem is so large that community involvement is essential. Any means of lifting community awareness through involvement in workshops and field walks, brochures and posters, websites or engaging the new wave of social media will go a long way towards solving the weed escapee problem. Contact Annette ten Broeke, 02 6938 1671, Acknowledgements: Dr Rex Stanton, Research Officer and Toni Nugent, Research Liaison Officer – Communications both from EH Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, Wagga Wagga Michael Danelon, Nursery and Garden Industry NSW & ACT (NGINA)

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Transfuel™ Poly Bunded Diesel Pump Station


apid Spray is introducing the new Transfuel™ Bunded Diesel Pump Station as part of their Rapid Diesel™ product range.

The Transfuel™ Bunded Diesel Pump Station gives you a safe diesel storage and dispensing facility right where you need it – it’s just like having your own servo on site! How convenient is that? Constructed from diesel grade poly the bund gives you peace of mind protecting you and the environment from accidental diesel spillage. There are other benefits from using poly not the least being the weight saving making it easier to move around from site to site as required. Direct injection diesel engines have very low tolerance of moisture in the fuel. One of the sources of contamination by moisture is condensation in fuel tanks. This risk can be significantly reduced by using a tank constructed from diesel grade polyethylene. To protect you further an in-line water and particle filter is fitted to keep fuel clean. Filling your vehicles is easy with the 60 litre/minute pump, pumping through a six-metre delivery hose and an

auto shut-off nozzle that prevents overfilling. A flow meter accurately measures the number of litres used in each fill and also keeps a running total of fuel pumped. A fuel level gauge with added benefit of remote monitor (you can check level from comfort of your home or office!) indicates remaining fuel capacity. If extra delivery hose length is required heavy duty hose reels with spring loaded retraction are available as an option. Safety is, of course, paramount and detailed attention has been paid to it in the design of the pump stations. Overfill protection is provided to prevent your fuel supplier overfilling the tank as is a bund alarm with remote indication to warn you if the bund starts to fill. Security is important and has been taken care of with the lockable pump cover to prevent unauthorised access to your fuel supply.

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Weeds hitching rides

on vehicles and machinery By Alan Everett, Department of Primary Industries Local governments are leading by example in the important but often unheralded biosecurity battle against weeds.

Weeds cost Australia $3.9 billion annually in lower farm incomes and higher food costs. In addition, Commonwealth, state and local governments spend approximately $116.4 million annually on costs of monitoring, control, management and research into weeds. These costs do not include the loss of services from the natural environment, the impacts of pollen on human health, or the value of the volunteer labour deployed on weed management around Australia.

Above: The extent of seed contamination may not be revealed until guards are removed and the vehicle closely inspected. Below: It is not just the slasher that can carry weed seeds. Tractors also pose significant risks and regularly need to be cleaned.

One key aspect in the spread of weeds is their tendency to gather in machinery of all sorts and be carried from one property to another, or even between states. The Australian Weeds Strategy recognises the importance of preventing weed spread, as does Victoria’s Department of Primary Industries (DPI). Since May 2005, DPI’s WeedStop program has been running workshops teaching participants how to safely and effectively clean weeds and soil from all sorts of machines that are constantly on the move. Extensive assessment of machinery and vehicles during training has shown that more than 50 per cent of four-wheel drive vehicles, and 40 per cent of plant and equipment (tractors, slashers, graders etc.), are carrying at least one declared species of weed. WeedStop – a nationally accredited training program – has also been delivered to government agencies, industry staff and land managers in several southeastern Australian states. continued on page 98

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equipment equipment ++ machinery

Caltex proudly supports council and government fleets


ustralian owned and operated Caltex Australia proudly supplies complete product solutions for Australian councils and governments.

As Australia’s leading transport fuel supplier and convenience retailer, and the only integrated oil refining and marketing company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, we’re committed to Australia for the long haul.

With a team of over 3500 employees Australia-wide, we are committed to meeting the growing needs of Australian councils and government fleets, delivering fuels, lubricants and services in a safe, reliable and efficient manner to just about anywhere across the country. We’re proud to offer a comprehensive range of quality fuels, lubricants and flexible, user-friendly services to drive the effective management of your fleets. And because we understand that operational efficiencies matter to you, we offer a convenient, time saving solution for effectively managing your fuel and business expenses – the Caltex StarCard. StarCard’s range helps to manage your fleet how you want, when you want. Safely and reliably fuelling your fleet Caltex offers a comprehensive range of transport fuels for all your fleet management requirements. In addition to regular unleaded petrol and diesel, Caltex provides a range of high performance fuels known as Vortex Premium Fuels. Vortex Premium fuels are high performance, ultra-refined

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fuels specially designed to enhance the performance, efficiency and effectiveness of your engine. Our Vortex range of premium petrols and diesel are available nationally. Caltex also offers a range of Biofuel blends, including E-Flex, E-10 B5 and B20, which meet our strict quality standards and help support local producers. A trusted lubricant supplier Caltex lubricants are universally recognised and trusted by the industry, having earned a strong reputation for product innovation and customer value generation. For companies that use our specialised Delo and Havoline engine oil products, this equates to a dependable source of quality lubricants, delivering unrivalled performance, protection and reliability. With an unwavering focus on service solutions, you can trust Caltex to understand your issues and your technical lubricant requirements. Convenient control of vehicle expenses with StarCard The range of Caltex StarCards helps businesses and employees everywhere to effectively manage fuel expenses and cash flow.

Y 96••the theaustralian australianlocal localgovernment governmentinFrastructure INFRASTRUCTUREyearbook yearbook2011/2012 2011/2012

Caltex StarCards bring together cashless payments for fuel, lubricants and retail needs as a comprehensive fleet management solution. Caltex card holders have the flexibility and ease of managing their accounts effortlessly with one simplified monthly invoice that is ATO approved, giving customers the flexibility to monitor their outgoings effectively. What’s more, with access to more than 1800 Caltex stores across Australia, you’re never far from your next fill-up. A high quality supply chain With two of Australia’s seven refineries, two large capacity coastal product tankers and significant and growing terminal capacity, Caltex has a high quality supply chain that delivers a convenient, safe and reliable supply to customers. Caltex Australia is so much more than just a fuel company. We keep your business moving. For more information visit

equipment + machinery

continued from page 94

WeedStop leader, Michael Moerkerk, said that 208 WeedStop workshops have been presented, with over 2600 participants undertaking training in Victoria since 2005. Half of these participants were drawn from 39 different local governments. ‘With a little attention to work practices, a bit of planning, and an understanding of how weeds spread, it is not difficult to reduce the risk of equipment picking up weed seeds,’ Mr Moerkerk said.

Slashing vegetation at seeding time increases the risk of weed spread but can be reduced by regular cleaning.

‘If machinery is cleaned thoroughly using the appropriate techniques at the right times, the risk that such equipment will spread weeds can be greatly reduced.’ The City of Greater Geelong has sent four groups to the machinery cleaning workshops. Manager Environment and Natural Resources, Rodney Thomas, said the feedback from staff had been really positive. ‘People who did the workshops said it was the best weed training they had ever had – good, hands-on practical stuff. ‘We have the full range of machinery, from slashers to graders and ride-on mowers, and our work environment varies from manicured parks to conservation reserves and road maintenance.’ The Rural City of Wangaratta has been involved in the WeedStop program since 2005/06. Scott Draper, Sustainability Programs Coordinator for the City, said the workshops had proved invaluable for participants, raising the profile of weed hygiene practices with work crews and contractors. ‘Since undertaking the training works and operations, staff have been proactive in reporting weed infestations, requesting identification of suspect plants, and developing environmental management plans (EMPs) for sensitive areas,’ he said. ‘I almost fell over when our road construction supervisor rang me one day and said he had identified Chilean Needle Grass (CNG) at one of their work sites, and asked what we needed to do about it. ‘As a result of this call, we developed an EMP for what was a heavily infested CNG site, and ensured that we didn’t spread the infestation to other areas of the municipality. ‘While the Rural City of Wangaratta has always 98 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012

Mud on tracks and vehicles poses significant weed spread potential and does not paint a good picture with the public.

encouraged its contractors to complete this training, in 2011 we also opened up some limited places to Landcare groups and interested landholders.’ Others to have taken part in the courses include Longerenong Agricultural College, NSW Department of Primary Industries, the Western Victorian Agricultural Contractors Association, the Australian Fodder Industry Association, VicRoads and the Animal and Plant Control Commission (SA). ‘Some major infrastructure projects such as the Sugarloaf Pipeline Alliance, Wodonga Rail Bypass and the Northern Victorian Irrigation Renewal Project also took part,’ said Mr Moerkerk. ‘It really is about managing the biosecurity, the threat to the environment and agriculture, and also exposing operators to the possibility that they may face penalties under the Catchment and Land Protection Act, or civil litigation from property owners,’ Mr Moerkerk said.

equipment + machinery

‘Infrastructure project contracts are increasingly being drawn up specifying that operators or businesses need to have demonstrated competencies in weed spread prevention measures, including inspection and cleaning machinery. ‘Businesses and vendors are becoming more aware of the need for improved hygiene. ‘So if a company can demonstrate that staff have had the training, it is clearly a business advantage that enables wider market access.’ Mr Moerkerk said the training applies to people who: • Use vehicles, machinery and equipment associated with soil and vegetation • Manage firms • Travel regularly between properties • Enjoy our natural environment • Own or manage land • Do contract work in agriculture or environmental areas. ‘It is essential that staff undertaking work in the field do so in a way that minimises the threat of invasive plants and animals to agriculture and the natural environment,’ Mr Moerkerk said. ‘This enhances food safety, ensures minimal and effective chemical use, protects the welfare of animals and preserves, and expands market access for Australia’s primary industries.’

Vehicle and machinery cabins are often a source of weed seeds carried in on footwear.

Training is appropriate for earthmoving contractors, agricultural consultants, farmers, shire and council workers, utility industries, linear reserve managers, land care and ‘friends of’ groups, catchment management authorities, recreational four-wheel drive clubs, hay and fodder contractors, harvest contractors, stock transport contractors, civil contractors and government agencies. Workshops can also be delivered on other biosecurity risks and have been modified for use in the viticulture (phylloxera) and potato (potato cyst nematode) industries. Mr Moerkerk said the workshops covered: • Weed recognition and identification • How weeds spread • Job planning to minimise weed and disease spread • Inspecting vehicles and machinery • Cleaning vehicles and machinery • Records and reporting • Victoria’s Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 and other relevant legislation. Workshops can be tailored to individual requirements at any time and location that suits, can focus on weeds of specific concern using private record systems, and can be integrated into individual codes of practice. Weed spread prevention is not about cleaning more often, but it is about modifying work practices to minimise exposure to weeds, recognising the risks, and cleaning effectively when required. In some cases, organisations undertaking WeedStop training have modified their work practices, made simple changes to machinery, and may have reduced the amount of time cleaning whilst reducing the risks of spreading weeds.

Avoid driving through tall vegetation in seed to minimise inspection and clean-down time. the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012 • 99

equipment ++ machinery machinery

Case builds on heritage of innovation


ase Construction Equipment is one of the world’s most respected construction equipment manufacturers. With a full range of equipment from skid steers, backhoes and compact excavators to heavy excavators, wheel loaders and dozers, Case has come a long way since it was founded in 1842. Inventor, Jerome Increase Case, originally founded the company to build threshing machines. From those agricultural beginnings Case expanded to become the largest maker of steam engines and, eventually, the world’s leading manufacturer of light- to medium-sized construction equipment. Originally known more for its range of road building equipment including graders and compaction units, it was Case’s groundbreaking backhoe that cemented the company’s already strong reputation. In 1957 Case launched the world’s first factory built tractor loader backhoe, and was known as the backhoe leader by 1960. This was mostly due to the ongoing improvements Case made to the original design – starting a tradition of innovation that continues to this day.

‘Reliability is a given, but when we consider reliability, it’s not just about the day-to-day operation of the machine. It’s about providing complete reliability over the machine’s entire working life,’ said Mick. ‘Fuel efficiency is not just about lower costs for operators, it’s also about smarter product design so operators get even more productivity for less fuel. For example, carefully designed work modes enable the Case B Series excavators to use up to 20 per cent less fuel without compromising on performance. ‘When it comes to servicing, it’s about making it as simple and straightforward as possible to make life easier for operators. We also aim to make life more comfortable for them, particularly as operators tend to work longer and longer hours. Case machines have some of the lowest decibel ratings in the industry, which can help operators to stay productive and avoid excessive fatigue during long shifts.’ With an equally strong focus on safety as well as an expert dealer network around Australia, it’s no surprise that Case construction equipment remains the brand of choice for savvy contractors and operators.

For example, Case was the first company to offer Ride Control on backhoes and skid steers, the first to develop an extending dipper (the patented Extendahoe) and the first to offer Powershift transmission in backhoes. When developing new products, Case enlists the help of customers from all over the world, some of whom use competitor products, to provide feedback and advice in all product development phases, including prototype field testing. All new products adhere to four key design imperatives: reliability; fuel efficiency; serviceability; and sound and vibration control. Case always sets the benchmarks extremely high and then aims to shatter them with each product upgrade, according to Case Brand Leader Australia, Mick Smith.

Case launched the world’s first factory built tractor loader backhoe, beginning a tradition of innovation that continues to this day, including the new Construction King T Series backhoe.

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Now available with factory hydraulic side shift


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With the introduction of the Case Super T Series, the Construction King once again sets new standards of reliability and operator safety engineering. Contact us now for a demonstration of the safest machine in class.


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Safely accessing infrastructure maintenance tasks


afely accessing infrastructure for routine inspections and maintenance is a common task for local governments, made more difficult by the diverse mix of assets and range of maintenance activities undertaken. BOOM Sherrin, Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading supplier of tailored elevated work platform (EWP) solutions, offers a range of highly specialised access equipment for the diverse mix of

asset maintenance tasks undertaken by local government. The comprehensive fleet of travel towers and elevated work platforms is backed by industry-leading safe work practices, reliable fleet support, complementary site safety analysis and a national network of 23 branches. Diverse fleet mix for a diverse range of maintenance tasks Safe EWP solutions have been developed for a range of government asset maintenance tasks including buildings; bridges and other civil infrastructure; street lighting; parks and garden; street decoration and community events and stadium and entertainment facility maintenance. BOOM Sherrin has a fleet of over 3000 travel towers and elevated work platforms, which includes highly specialised equipment to safely overcome a range of height, reach, site access and working surface limitations. Travel towers range from 10 metres to 70 metres maximum working heights and include bridge inspection, maintenance and road rail units. The travel tower fleet is supported by a range of access equipment including boom lifts, knuckle booms, scissor lifts, spider lifts and superdecks. Bundled together, BOOM Sherrin can tailor the best EWP solution for the maintenance task at hand. Specifying the correct solution The correct EWP solution is tailored by assessing five key site attributes, (i) the height of the task, (ii) the reach required to access the task, (iii) the task being undertaken, (iv) site access, and (v) working surface limitations of the site. The right solution is the one that is able to overcome each of the five attributes in the safest possible manner, ensuring that the personnel involved are able to undertake the required task efficiently, safely and in a cost-effective manner. BOOM Sherrin offers free site safety analysis for all customers, to ensure all requirements and associated hazards for the EWP task are identified and the most appropriate height access solution is specified for the site. Safe practises and fleet support BOOM Sherrin ensures all customers receive safe and reliable equipment by offering industry leading safe practices aligned to AS4801, in-house maintenance and technical expertise, and 24-hour service support to minimise unscheduled project downtime.

For more information on how BOOM Sherrin can assist you with the height access requirements of your asset maintenance tasks, contact your nearest branch on 136 132 or visit

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Tailored EWP solutions for Local Government




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equipment + machinery


Asset management By Nigel Hopkins, City of Port Adelaide Enfield


he City of Port Adelaide Enfield services a community of around 110,000 people in a council area of just under 92 hectares that contains 670 kilometres of local roads, 140 kilometres of arterial roads and 1050 kilometres of footpath and kerbing, including arterial road footpaths. Council’s Technical Services Department is responsible for the care and maintenance of 40 ovals, 78 tennis and netball courts, three golf courses, more than 170 hectares of reserves and 5.8 kilometres of the Torrens Linear Park. Then there’s a total of more than 118 playgrounds and the city’s 6.2-kilometre foreshore to look after. Each year the department oversees construction of around five kilometres of roads and four kilometres of footpaths, mainly on main roads, plus another five kilometres of new footpaths in new residential developments, at an average annual cost of around $20 million. Another $10 million or so is spent each year maintaining recreational facilities. In addition, each year some 2500 trees are planted into the council street and reserve network. Port Adelaide Enfield has around 64,000 street trees and 36,000 reserve trees across the city, which all need watering and, every 18 months, pruning. Street care alone, including verge grass cutting and street sweeping, costs council nearly $5 million a year.

Added to this already massive workload are everyday tasks such as stormwater construction and maintenance – that’s approximately another $10 million a year – traffic signs and traffic signal maintenance, implementing parking controls, and even constructing bus shelters. The majority of Council’s 180 field staff is based at the three main depots: Largs North, Greenacres and Kilburn, which is Council’s main depot for staff, plant and equipment and also the location of a workshop, store and nursery to service field operations. Ensuring that they have the appropriate tools of trade and plant and equipment to effectively develop and maintain these community assets and infrastructure requires a detailed asset management plan that includes a replacement schedule. This outlines what expenditure is required to operate, maintain and ultimately replace the asset, and in what year that money will be required. Some years require significantly more money than other years, but the asset management plans advise council of these peak years and allow it to plan its financial position to manage any large fluctuations in expenses without resorting to large fluctuations in rates. The replacement schedule includes 260 major plant items, ranging from excavator and backhoes to utilities,

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equipment + machinery

Left: West Wood school crossing Right: PAE maintenance crew fixing coastal boardwalk Below right: Regent Gardens playground

trucks and ride-on mowers. The 440 minor plant items include equipment such as chainsaws, blowers, brush cutters, concrete mixers and pumps. In the 2011-2012 budgets, Port Adelaide Enfield Council has set aside $3.3 million for the replacement of plant, machinery and vehicles. This will enable replacement of 61 minor plant items, 21 major plant items and 30 passenger and light commercial vehicles that have reached an age or condition that, based on fleet management principles, are in need of replacement. The plant and equipment replacement process is subject to council’s contracts and tendering policy that sets out the foundation of procurement. The policy and associated procedure ensures probity for staff, a transparent outcome for suppliers, and best value for council. Consultation with council staff is the first step of the replacement process, thus ensuring that the key user or group has input in determining the specification for the item to be purchased. This not only enables the development of a performance-based approach, providing an opportunity for the adoption of new technology and innovative solutions to meet council’s needs, it also provides clarity for suppliers in preparing tender offers and their subsequent assessment. The development of asset management and maintenance plans is an important focus of Port Adelaide Enfield Council. Council has embraced technology and introduced an integrated asset management solution designed by Hansen specifically for use in local government. Hansen Asset Management provides the tools required to track and maintain council’s assets and to evaluate associated costs to manage them better. The asset management system captures assets groups that include buildings, roads, reserves, and plant and equipment. It also tracks and reports costs accurately against assets and activities, while continuing to plan, schedule and execute effective maintenance programs. continued on page 108

the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012 • 105

equipment + machinery machinery

Our goal is to help you achieve yours JCB equipment provides safety and comfort while maximising productivity.


ince 1945, JCB has been manufacturing innovative and quality products such as backhoe loaders, wheel loaders, skid steers, telehandlers and excavators. Our machines are designed to support the functions of councils and local government, giving significant importance to safety, comfort and productivity. The backhoe loader remains one of the most pivotal plant items used within council operations. Currently two in every five backhoes sold anywhere in the world is made by JCB. JCB’s patented technology of Torquelock, Extradig and Powerslide maximise machine productivity and ease of use. Torquelock is an industry first technology that increases speed and working radius by up to 10 per cent and increases working area by up to 20 per cent. Extradig and Powerslide technology allow the backhoe to manoeuvre with less effort and reduce site damage. Some may say comfort is an unnecessary luxury in plant equipment but for JCB it is an essential part of productivity. Comfort allows the operator to put the performance features to profitable use. Day-long working fatigue-free is possible through cab ergonomics and a rubber-mounted isolated cab to reduce noise and vibration levels. The unique JCB in seat servo controls offer unprecedented operator control and comfort. Able to manoeuvre the seat to 90 degrees when working over the side of the machine eliminates strain on the operator as they are not required

to twist their body to sight the working area. The 360° view through the tinted windows also enhances on-site safety; in particular, the one-piece rear windscreen with its innovative scoop design that gives greater visibility when excavating. In 2011, JCB launched their new ECO range of backhoe loaders offering significant gains in fuel efficiency and productivity, as well as improved versatility and comfort. The new EcoDig system, which incorporates three hydraulic pumps, puts average fuel savings at around 15 per cent. The three pumps provide the same hydraulic output, but at lower engine speeds. Operators can select from two working modes to optimise productivity and improve machine control. Another benefit of the three pump design is faster performance of the Extradig extending dipper stick, further boosting productivity. The new hydraulic system and lower engine speeds also contribute to a cut in exhaust emissions. Providing a comfortable and safe working environment ensures maximum productivity and wellbeing of personnel, adding value to the overall operations. With a comprehensive after sales support network of parts and service, JCB is your partner for the future.

X • the australian local government inFrastructure yearbook 2011/2012 106 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012

JCB Construction Equipment Australia is the proud distributor of JCB equipment in Australia. Please contact us on 1300 JCB CEA.

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equipment + machinery

continued from page 105

New or replacement assets are captured within the asset program and structured to provide for maintenance schedules, adoption of operating costs and replacement. Further, the asset management system reports on a variety of failure types such as vehicle age, lack of daily maintenance, driver error, vehicle design fault and operator training. Thus, comparisons are possible between like units in a work group, or of one manufacturer’s product with that of another manufacturer.

Above left: Construction on Semaphore Road Above: Semaphore Road – the finished product

Consultation with council staff is the first step of the replacement process, thus ensuring that the key user or group has input in determining the specification for the item to be purchased.

For example, a machine that has high utilisation but is a very visible machine is the street sweeper. Six street sweepers are used to clean Port Adelaide Enfield streets in conjunction with grass-cutting programs throughout the council area. These machines have a very high purchase cost and are also very costly to maintain. In the past, council retained sweeper trucks for up to 10 years prior to replacement. However, by using the Hansen Asset Management tools, council’s technical services department has determined that the useful life of a sweeper truck is generally seven years. Beyond the seven-year milestone, maintenance costs escalate and the residual value of the units falls rapidly. Work health and safety is regarded as a key issue for both staff and the public, and it is taken very seriously when choosing and maintaining plant and equipment. A risk assessment is undertaken of plant and equipment to ensure that staff and the community we work in are not at risk. The street sweeper, in particular, poses many issues for health and safety as it moves very slowly when sweeping streets and footways, thus posing a hazard to adjoining pedestrian and vehicular traffic. It’s not just asset sustainability at stake but also financial sustainability, which is why Port Adelaide Enfield Council’s long-term planning enables it to monitor its ability to deliver services to the community without significant rate increases being imposed. The value of council’s assets, from its recreation areas to its plant and machinery, runs into many millions of dollars. Maintaining those many assets in top condition, so they can safely be enjoyed by the community, underpins the sustainable development of the city.

108 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012

Semaphore Road


The chicken or the egg? Infrastructure provision and urban development: A transport perspective By Cameron Martyn, Associate, GTA Consultants Introduction The timely delivery of transport infrastructure required to support growing populations across Australia is critical to achieving good urban development and government policy outcomes. The right infrastructure ensures that people are well-connected, with access to jobs, family, recreation, and services essential to maintaining a high standard of living. The level of investment committed to transport infrastructure, usually by government, means these projects can often be accompanied by a high degree of public and political scrutiny. Careful and well-informed planning is

required to ensure that the right infrastructure is delivered at the appropriate time to provide maximum benefit from the investment and resources committed to the project.

Contemporary urban context The major urban centres in Australia are currently experiencing unprecedented levels of growth due to factors such as migration, urbanisation trends and natural population increase. For example, the most recent population data for Melbourne shows that population increased by 1500 residents per week in the year to June 2010 – a total increase of 79,000 per annum.

Figure 1 – Melbourne population change1

the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012 • 109


Transport planning professionals are judged on their ability to plan, coordinate and deliver regional infrastructure and services in a timely manner to support the regional settlement pattern and desired community outcomes. Significant investment and planning for infrastructure provision is required to service this level of population growth. Planning response i) A more compact city • D ecentralisation and promotion of major activity centres providing CBD-like functions • E mployment corridors to improve accessibility to jobs and services and reduce congestion on the transport network • P lanning for higher populations in established residential areas where significant investment in infrastructure has already taken place ii) Better management of growth • Growth areas identified with more land released on city fringe • I nvestigation areas in the north and west, with a small proportion in the south-east, for potential extensions to Melbourne growth areas • M ore efficient use of greenfield land with higher density (15dph) development. The objectives are reliant on significant investment in new infrastructure to enable both existing and new suburban areas to accommodate the increase in population and deliver equality of services and access to all residents. Transport planning The transport planning response to growth has focused on a strategic direction for the delivery of transport projects over the long term. Transport infrastructure will shape Victoria in the future through prioritising: i) Linking jobs, services and homes ii) Strengthening the connections between regional, rural and metropolitan Victoria so all parts of the state share in prosperity iii) Taking practical steps to increase the frequency, reliability and safety of trains and trams

v) Moving towards a sustainable and lower emissions transport system to support a greener Victoria vi) New links to drive jobs and economic growth, and build Victoria’s prosperity. Realisation of these key priorities requires projects and initiatives such as: • New trains, new tracks • More trams and buses • M ulti-billion dollar upgrades to major regional transport infrastructure • Freight planning • R ail extensions to provide more transport choice in growth areas • Bus upgrades • O uter suburban and regional road improvements to service new communities.

Urban development infrastructure Transport and land use integration Integration of transport and land use is a key urban development principle. Government policy aims for connected and accessible regions based on an integrated transport system that is planned and managed to support more compact urban growth and efficient travel; connect people, places, goods and services; and promote public transport use, walking and cycling. Transport planning professionals are judged on their ability to plan, coordinate and deliver regional infrastructure and services in a timely manner to support the regional settlement pattern and desired community outcomes. The ideal urban environment is considered to be a compact urban structure of well-planned communities, supported by a network of accessible and convenient centres and transit corridors linking residential areas to employment locations. This establishes the context for achieving a consolidated urban settlement pattern.

iv) Linking communities by closing gaps, reducing congestion and improving safety on the road network

110 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012

continued on page 112



MAN on the Move


AN Buses and Trucks are distributed and supported in Australia by MAN Automotive Imports (MAI) who has their head office located in Brisbane Queensland. The focus for MAI over the last few years has been increased service levels and After Sales Support and MAI have increased their team significantly to achieve this goal. To this end MAI opened a new Parts Distribution Centre in Brisbane in late 2008. This facility is over 13,000 square metres in size. This investment of over $5 million is a firm indication of MAI’s commitment to their customers and their continued focus on After Sales Support now and for the future. MAN is able to provide a range of products that offer alternative fuel sources and various emission standards. The MAN range of products extends across the Route / City Bus segment, the School Bus segment and the Charter Bus segment. MAN has the Diesel range that starts at 290hp and goes up to 360hp in both the Route / City Bus range and the School Bus range, as well as 360hp to 440hp in the Charter Bus range. All the diesel variants are Euro 5 or EEV and utilise EGR technology and have no Exec.Media Ad:Layout 1 13/7/10 3:30 PM Page 1 need of additives.

MAN also has a CNG range of engines for the Route / City Bus segment, which start at 290hp and go up to 360hp and are EEV or Euro 6 equivalent and incorporate the latest European emission requirements.

For Sales enquiries please contact: Ian Buttar National Sales Manager 0448 867 042

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transport continued from page 110

Table 1 – Infrastructure considerations Transport Mode

Infrastructure required





• buses

$1m $10m+

Can be delivered relatively quickly (new buses) but major infrastructure (interchanges) projects can be measured in months/years.

• Infrastructure requirements and cost commitment not as high, i.e. Smartbus scheme, Doncaster Rapid Transit

Long project lead-in and delivery timeframes, often spanning political election cycles.

• Access for private vehicles, freight, public transport, active travel

• bus stops • bus lanes • bus priority measures – signals, dedicated infrastructure • passenger information systems • operation and maintenance Road

• road structure • land • intersections and interchanges

$1m $1bn+

• signals • operation and maintenance

• Road space requirements, impact on parking and local business opposition.

• Connections to regional freight and road networks • Connections to the arterial road network • Parking provision.

Active transport (cycling/walking)

• dedicated paths and road space • end of trip facilities

$10k $10m+

• priority measures

Timing of infrastructure provision An infrastructure project usually requires significant upfront investment. If the flow of benefits does not materialise until later than expected, the provider may incur a large (opportunity) cost in resources tied up unnecessarily.

Can be delivered quickly but major projects (cycleways) will take longer.

• Easier to retrofit, less cost commitment, faster delivery, less construction risk • Less effective for mass transit requirements.

Similarly, excessive delay in provision of infrastructure may prevent the realisation of considerable net benefits that may have resulted from more immediate investment. Included below is a brief analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of infrastructure delivery being undertaken at different project stages.

Table 2 – Pre-development provision assessment Advantages


Lower cost

Time lag between infrastructure provision and full use

Less disruption to services, urban activity

Political risk

Flexibility for construction access to site

Cost to public of funding while infrastructure not fully utilised

Encourage developer commitment

Risk that development will never require level of infrastructure provided

Less project construction risk

Less accuracy in estimates of level, type and timeframe for development

Attractive to prospective residents, private sector investment

Difficult to justify spend and priority over other projects

The benefits of developing transport infrastructure prior to urban development are generally realised only when the urban growth is experienced, and therefore are subject to risks inherent in development cycles and private sector investment. It would be considered a very high political risk to commit public sector funding to transport infrastructure delivery in order to enable an urban development project that was not guaranteed to proceed. Developer commitment and timing play a central part in any infrastructure funding decisions. There may also be issues with political commitment

beyond election cycles and the need for a unilateral agreement across political parties. This can be achieved for large investments, but is generally a slower and more onerous funding process. Although there are undoubtedly benefits in early delivery of transport infrastructure, planners must consider how to prove a case relating to the costs of a missed opportunity if the project is delayed until after development has commenced. In the case where benefits must be quantified, methods of calculating these may not be subjective or universally accepted.

112 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012

transport Post-development provision Table 3 – Post-development provision assessment Advantages


More certainty on requirement and type of infrastructure

Higher construction costs

Infrastructure fully utilised from date of delivery

More disruption to services and urban activity

Easier to justify spend

Less construction flexibility

Certainty that private sector investment will occur

Higher construction risk

Prioritising project more straightforward

Harder to attract investment without commitment up-front

The justification of investment decisions based on existing demand is a more traditional approach to the delivery of transport infrastructure. This approach lessens political and planning risk through simplifying forecasting of the type, function and demand for transport infrastructure. For example, whilst it is relatively straightforward to anticipate the number of additional traffic movements generated by a greenfield development onto a transport network, it is significantly more difficult to determine the take-up of a new tram line, or the advantages of a new train station within a growth area or existing urban environment. In such cases, it may seem more appealing to wait for public pressure to provide additional public transport services to ensure that latent demand exists before moving to meet such a demand.

v) Facilities required for relocation

It is more straightforward to develop a business case for investment at this stage, due to less risk and uncertainty in the planning process. However, delivery of new transport infrastructure into an existing system, such as extending a tram line within an existing road corridor, also offers less flexibility for construction access and space requirements, additional disruption to existing services, and potentially higher delivery costs.

iii) Costs to developer of upgrade to road network due to amount of traffic generated

Example projects

vi) Traffic disruption vii) Working with existing lease arrangements. Inner urban brownfields development Major brownfield site intended for mixed use and residential development within existing urban area experiencing rapid expansion and population growth. Issues: i) How to develop and link into existing arterial network and a major ring road ii) Restrictions on access due to existing road network nearing operational capacity

iv) Who pays, who benefits? When to deliver road upgrades? v) What happens if other local sites develop and take up additional capacity provided before the site is fully developed? Growth area – rail

Below are four brief examples of different scenarios for transport infrastructure delivery (based on real projects), and some important issues that need to be considered for each.

Provision of a new rail station on an existing rail line, within a proposed activity centre in a greenfields growth area on the urban fringe.

Existing activity centre – transport interchange upgrade/retrofit

i) Greenfields development – no latent demand for public transport provision

Upgrade and refurbishment of an existing bus interchange within an activity centre to facilitate urban development and better access to transport; enhanced interchange with other transport modes.

ii) Desire to sink rail line for better urban development, connectivity, and amenity outcomes for the proposed activity centre



iii) Opportunity to do this now at lower cost, but how to provide justification to funding providers?

i) Difficulty and cost of rebuilding in existing active facility above operating shopping centre and rail station

iv) If left to after development: higher project cost, construction risk, disruption, track occupations

ii) Relocation of interchange

v) If delivered now: possibility of public backlash in relation to government funding priorities, political risk.

iii) Retaining access during construction iv) Space required on local streets to relocate

the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012 • 113


Although the current methods of justifying transport infrastructure delivery are generally reacting to public demand, a more proactive stance may carry significant cost and ease of delivery Growth area – road link Selection of a corridor for the provision of major road infrastructure to enable development of an urban growth area, and to function as a freight link. Issues: i) Local authority and community objection to the need for infrastructure – justified through Regional Planning Policy ii) Predominantly through traffic and freight link – how to sell to affected local community? iii) Impact of existing infrastructure (including social) in determining link location. Infrastructure that is developed early can influence or restrict options for future infrastructure provision iv) Preservation of a corridor for motorway and development implications of this – impact on local investment, positive and negative.

What does it all mean? Approach to infrastructure provision The approach to transport infrastructure planning and delivery will ultimately be based on a number of factors, including: • Infrastructure project type • Investment requirements and funding methods • Public sector funding environment • Governmental policy objectives • Specific urban context • Political context and election cycles • Triple bottom-line benefits of investment. The transport professional must have at their disposal the correct tools to assess the impact of infrastructure delivery at different stages of a project, and the ability to make a judgement on the most appropriate time for transport infrastructure to be planned and delivered. A wide range of data is required to make such an assessment, on factors such as growth projections, travel behaviour, origin-

destination, vehicle ownership, socio-economic trends, fuel prices and public transport patronage models. Although the current methods of justifying transport infrastructure delivery are generally reacting to public demand, a more proactive stance may carry significant cost and ease of delivery – especially in greenfield growth areas. However, the difficulties in upgrading or retrofitting existing systems to meet urban growth and settlement patterns, in particular costs and other issues associated with land acquisition and service disruption, can impact upon the successful realisation of government policy objectives within these growth areas. Future considerations for infrastructure planning There are a number of issues for transport professionals to consider when planning for transport infrastructure investment and delivery, including: • Q uantifying the benefits of the timing of infrastructure delivery • S eeking bi-partisan political agreement for early funding of major infrastructure • C onsidering the most appropriate time to try and influence the decision-making process • T echniques required for building a convincing case for early infrastructure delivery • U ndertaking a full assessment or disclosure of costs of later infrastructure delivery, including service disruption and potential facility relocation, temporary works, construction access, risk and timeframes • D ifferent delivery models for investment – PPPs, developer infrastructure contributions, federal government funding through Infrastructure Australia • T he requirements for transport infrastructure to meet investment decisions based on triple bottom line analysis – not just transport outcomes • T he risks and costs of retrofitting transport infrastructure into existing facilities • Methods for assessing private sector investment decisions based on availability of transport infrastructure.

References 1) Melbourne 2030: a planning update – Melbourne@5million, State Government of Victoria, December 2008 2) Melbourne 2030: a planning update – Melbourne@5million, State Government of Victoria, December 2008 3) The Victorian Transport Plan, State Government of Victoria, 2008.

114 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012


The future of light trucks Western Star Trucks Australia Pty Ltd (WSTA), importers and distributors of Western Star Trucks and MAN trucks and buses is introducing to Australia a new brand of commercial truck â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Foton Commercial Vehicles. Foton Commercial Vehicles Australia is pleased to introduce the first model, in what will be a long line of models from Foton; the Aumark 4.5T light commercial truck. This exciting new model is targeted at business owners who have outgrown a one tonne utility or van truck and are looking for something with a little more capability. The vehicle comes standard with a high quality 4350 mm long x 1900 mm wide steel tray with drop sides. This vehicle can be driven on a car licence, is available at an extremely competitive price and is fitted with the latest Cummins ISF 2.8L engine and ZF 5 speed transmission for outstanding reliability, performance and fuel economy. Other standard features include electric windows, cruise control, fully integrated air conditioning and radio/CD player to name just a few. This is the ideal replacement vehicle for overworked traditional one-tonne utes. For not much more than the cost of their current vehicle, operators can purchase a real truck and almost double their payload capacity. Pricing and availability will be available through select Western Star dealers that have been appointed to carry the Foton product. For sales enquiries please contact:

Mark Gobessi, General Manager

Foton Commercial Vehicles | Tel: 0401 565 341

asset + resource management

Major city risks AND ASSET LIFECYCLE RISKS By John Hunter, Brisbane City Council Two major risk themes are presented in this article: 1. Asset infrastructure macro city risks; and 2. Identifying and mitigating risks in the preacquisition phase of an asset’s lifecycle.

Asset infrastructure macro city risks There are advantages to organisations co-locating and concentrating their activities alongside each other. A significant advantage for cities is that they can create business activity, which becomes self-perpetuating as displayed in Figure 1.

Business activity increases New firms emerge. established firms grow

Well paid jobs increase

Tax base grows

Skilled people move in Productivity & competitiveness grows

Skilled labour supply grows Qualty of life improves

Specialised knowledge grows

Civic amenity & infrastructure improves Increasing flow of ideas & creativity

More innovation occurs Figure 1 – Macro city opportunities and risks (say, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, Darwin) Source – Brisbane City Council – Place Manager 116 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012

asset + resource management

Left: Efficient bus-way network Right: Active transport alternatives

In this model, organisations foster specialisation where new ideas, creativity and innovation lead to increased productivity and competitiveness. New firms emerge, established ones grow, and as business activity improves, well-paid jobs increase and the skilled labour supply is nurtured and flourishes. Governments use rates and taxes to invest in civic amenity and infrastructure, generating more benefits, improving transport and quality of life, and contributing to the flow of ideas and creativity. Thus, civic amenity and infrastructure is a very important contributor in this continuum of business activity generation. This is a simple yet powerful model and, due to the above benefits, a city may be promoted as an engine room for economic activity, productivity and wages. In Australia, 87 per cent of the population lives in the major cities and other urban areas1. Maintaining the momentum for economic activity As cities grow, interdependencies increase and, to remain sustainable, the strategies to maintain the business activity momentum require constant revision and adaptation. To examine the important role of infrastructure, Figure 2 displays the population (employment, size and density) on the X-axis, with production, wages and economic activity on the Y-axis.

As displayed, economic activity increases as the population increases. This may come about through: • Economies of scale resulting in increased revenues, rates and profits being taxed by the levels of government and reinvested in infrastructure; • Gains due to specialisation, and labour pooling with more industry-specific skills; and • Urbanisation, with the increased opportunities for adaptation and innovation. In Figure 2, a point of inflexion may occur with early gains being reversed, arising from:

Figure 2

• Infrastructure degradation – due to renewal infrastructure not being funded;

Risk Management - Cities Productivity Wages Economic activity

Good asset management can translate into good city management and capture the economic benefit

Productivity increases by up to 25%


2. Size and density Speeds up m/m goods, people, ideas Stimulates innovation 1. Cities are an engine room for productivity Productivity is a function of size and density

Size and density can cause congestion, poor amenity

Employment Size Density

• Congestion – In Australia, this cost was estimated at $9.4 billion (2005), rising to $20.4 billion by 20202. To maintain economic activity (charted in maroon), all levels of government must employ strategies to invest in renewals and new infrastructure. Without this recognition and the investment in infrastructure, urban decay may add increasing costs to businesses, undermining economic activity, productivity and wages.

0.78 Population (millions) 1.56

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population, and Communities - A sustainable population for Australia; Issues paper. Referenced from Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics 2007.




the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012 • 117

asset + resource management The Gateway Bridge duplication

Risk in an asset’s lifecycle Risk and asset management commences during an asset’s pre-acquisition lifecycle phase (the concept, design, procurement, construction, commissioning and handover activities), rather than when an asset is handed over. After pre-acquisition, many future risks and costs are locked in.

Risk management commences in the pre-acquisition asset lifestyle phase

D e c r e a s i n g A b i l i t y



Procure Construct Commission

Handover Pre-acquisition

Maintenance and Operations


Time (over many years for long lived assets) The activities are shown above in Figure 3, and the following is a summary of risks in these activities:

Figure 3 – Risk management in an asset’s lifecycle commences in the pre-acquisition phase

1. Concept – A non-asset solution may be more suitable and beneficial in terms of cost, maintenance, service delivery and risk to deliver the required service. 2. Design – A well-designed, fit for purpose asset may prevent an expensive retrofit to correct defects after an asset is handed over and operational. 3. Procurement – It is important to avoid risks such as dealing with disreputable manufacturers, poor quality assurance practices, lack of spare parts, and long lead times. 4. Construction – This may include confirming the constructor’s financial stability, e.g. the bankruptcy of a builder has the capacity to derail projects and add future costs. 5. Commissioning and handover – It is important to identify and rectify commissioning issues.

118 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012

The Lyric Theatre

asset + resource management

The Gallery of Modern Art

Governments at all levels must be conscious of infrastructure’s role in providing services to the community and to business. Asset functionality may become locked in during preacquisition, sometimes being irreversible and ultimately affecting an asset’s: • Capability – to provide the required services; • Capacity – to facilitate ramp-up in capacity; • Efficiency – to provide efficient service delivery, performance and output; • Quality – to minimise WH&S issues with back-up support from the constructor; and • Reliability – to provide consistency under the planned maintenance schedule. Costs The costs to rectify potential performance and functionality issues of an asset in its pre-acquisition phase could also be plotted – in most cases this could be an upward sloping line as shown in Figure 3 (with costs on

the Y axis). Depending upon the asset, the gradient of the cost line would increase as irreversible processes are applied and, in most cases, the gradient will reduce after an asset’s handover and acceptance. If the asset were to be damaged during the operational phase, the gradient of the cost line would rise again. Conclusion Governments at all levels must be conscious of infrastructure’s role in providing services to the community and to business. It is essential to maintain this investment, with effective infrastructure being one of several instruments in sustaining and increasing economic activity, productivity, wages and improving competitiveness. Asset and risk management commences in an asset’s pre-acquisition phase. Early risk identification can improve an asset’s functionality and reduce future operating and maintenance costs. Modern railway infrastructure

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asset + resource management

Practical tools for small, rural or remote communities By Chris Champion, Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia (IPWEA) IPWEA has published its latest Practice Note targeting Asset Management for Small, Rural or Remote Communities (AM4SRRC). The Practice Note is to assist small communities to develop their core asset management plans.


his new resource assists with achieving the requirements of local government financial sustainability frameworks agreed to by the Australian state, territory and federal governments. The Practice Note has been developed with the support of the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG). ACELG is making two copies of the publication available to all Australian local governments with populations under 5000. However, the approach is also of relevance to larger organisations. The principal author of the AM4SRRC Practice Note, John Howard, has developed a very practical yet comprehensive application and tool for our small communities. The Asset Management for Small, Rural or Remote Communities Practice Note: • is a simplified version of the nationally consistent full NAMS.PLUS Asset Management approach ( • assists small, rural or remote organisations to write their own 10-year asset management plans and provides expenditure projections for their long-term financial plans • is designed for small, rural or remote communities that are in a steady operating state (limited annual growth and/or operating change) and have limited technical resources and limited or out-of-date asset register data. It is also suitable for service/asset categories, such as parks and buildings, where the majority of costs relate to operating expenses and major repairs of existing assets and services. The guidelines are based on the IPWEA’s International Infrastructure Management Manual (IIMM) and follow the format set out in Appendix A of the IIMM. This valuable new resource also includes a maturity model to assess the organisation’s progress in meeting the ‘core’ asset management competencies set out in the national frameworks. The full version of NAMS.PLUS uses information in the organisation’s asset register(s) to develop capital renewal expenditure projections. The Asset Management for Small, Rural or Remote Communities Practice Note provides three

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asset + resource management

capital renewal planning methods for developing renewal expenditure projections: • Method 1 Asset Register – uses data from the financial, technical or valuation asset register for up to 5000 assets; • Method 2 Condition Modelling – uses projected works programs from condition modelling systems and pavement management systems; and • Method 3 Network Renewals/Defect Repairs – uses average network renewals from a high level asset register plus defect repair projects from asset inspections.

John Truman (President, IPWEA), Professor Graham Sansom (Director, ACELG), Margaret Reynolds (Chair, ACELG), Chris Champion (CEO, IPWEA) at the release of AM4SRRC.

Small, rural or remote organisations are encouraged to use the Practice Note to develop their first asset management plans and use the AM Plan expenditure projections for their long-term financial plans. Later they could move towards the more comprehensive 20year expenditure projections from NAMS.PLUS Asset Management to improve their service and long-term financial plans, where this suits their needs.

• sample asset management, infrastructure risk management plans and sample core maturity assessment report prepared using the AM4SRRC templates (PDF). Detailed ‘How To’ guides are also provided for the following key tasks: 1. Checking and verifying the expenditure template; 2. Preparing an asset management strategy;

The Asset Management for Small, Rural or Remote Communities Practice Note includes detailed guidelines covering asset management planning, asset management policy and strategy, levels of service, infrastructure risk management planning, long-term financial planning, financial sustainability indicators, and instructions on preparing infrastructure risk management plans and asset management plans using the AM4SRRC templates.

3. Compiling an asset register; and 4. Assessing ‘core’ asset management maturity. Training workshops A two-day training course to assist users in developing an asset management plan using the AM4SRRC templates and the Asset Management for Small, Rural or Remote Communities Practice Note is being made available separately through IPWEA.

Password access to the AM4SRRC website is included for public-asset owning organisations such as councils to provide users with templates for: • information needs for the AM4SRRC asset management plan (checklist to complete); • asset management plan template (Word document); • infrastructure risk management plan (Word document); • infrastructure risk register (spreadsheet); • asset register (spreadsheet); • expenditure template developing expenditure projections and graphs for the AM Plan template (spreadsheet); • asset management policy; • asset management strategy with an improvement plan; and

Day one develops levels of service and infrastructure risk analysis, and day two covers the practice of preparing an asset management plan using the AM4SRRC templates. Attendees are encouraged to bring a laptop computer and complete their ‘first cut’ asset management plan on day two. The Asset Management for Small, Rural or Remote Communities approach has already been pilot tested with councils in Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania with very positive feedback. Further information is available from

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asset + resource management

Asset management innovation By Jason Lyon, Town of Cambridge The Town of Cambridge has developed an innovative approach to managing its community assets that are leased to community groups. This approach assures that assets, such as buildings, synthetic courts and bowling greens, lighting, fencing and carparks, are maintained well into the future.


ambridge is located in Western Australia, within the Perth metropolitan area. It has 19 leased clubrooms used by a number of community groups, including surf clubs, tennis and bowling clubs, netball, football and hockey associations, scouts and guides, and coast care groups. The facilities themselves are in varying condition – some are old, tired and require a backlog of maintenance to be addressed, whilst others are new or have been recently renewed and are in pristine condition. In February 2009, the Town received a ‘Building Asset Management and Condition Report’, which estimated the renewal costs of the Town’s building infrastructure at $59.3 million. The community buildings component (those that are leased) totalled $24.3 million, or 41 per cent of the building stock. The report indicated that the Town would need to escalate its provision for building component renewal to $1 million, based on the ‘renewal gap’. Specifically for community buildings, provision should be made of around $410,000 per annum (41 per cent of $1 million). Previous arrangements for leasing community facilities had been inadequate. Responsibilities for maintenance were ambiguous, asset management planning was not undertaken, and a number of ad hoc arrangements were in place between the Town and the community groups, creating inequity. In some cases, a lack of building ownership was evident, with the presentation of the facility being less than desirable. The Town was adamant that these issues should be addressed.

The development of a standardised approach to leasing and managing community facilities was undertaken periodically over a number of years – but without much success. Previous attempts focused on financial, contractual and legacy issues – what reasonable amount of rent should be charged? Are the tenants legally responsible for all facets of facility ownership? Have previous funding contributions by community groups been taken into account? These issues were difficult to overcome for a standardised approach, and a change in mindset was needed. This change came about with a shift in focus to future asset management. Previous contributions became irrelevant – the key question was: how do we maintain our facilities into the future so that our next generations are not burdened with poor facilities and a backlog of maintenance? Community groups are now seen as partners, not tenants. From the outset, the Town knew that it had to actively engage with those groups, and formed a committee comprising the mayor, two councillors and two directors. This helped to convey the strategic importance of the project, which was driven from the top, and assisted all parties to understand the issues surrounding building management and community group activities. The engagement, which included a number of meetings with individual clubs and associations, and a number of workshops, personalised the approach and established trusting relationships, creating the environment for change.

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Images: Cambridge Bowling Club

asset + resource management

‘How do we maintain our facilities into the future so that our next generations are not burdened with poor facilities and a backlog of maintenance?’

In April this year, after nine months of consultation and development, the Community Facilities Leasing Policy and the standard Community lease was adopted by council. Community groups will enter into a new standard lease agreement from 1 July, heralding the new era of facility management. The community facilities leasing policy is underpinned by four key principles: Principle One Good asset management – community facilities are maintained to a reasonable standard, and are functional and fit for purpose. Principle Two Club/community group longevity – community facilities are provided at a subsidised cost, to support the long-term survival of clubs and community groups, where there is sufficient community demand. Principle Three Intergenerational equity – the cost of maintaining community facilities is shared between all users over the life of the facilities. Principle Four Reasonable user contributions – to encourage responsibility and ownership, and to ease the burden on the ratepayer, a reasonable contribution towards maintaining community facilities is made from the users of those facilities. With these principles in mind, an asset management model was conceived to deal with three streams of assets: building structures, synthetic playing surfaces and lighting, and car parks and surrounds – such as fencing, paving, handrails and the like.

The Asset Management Model Court/ Bowling Green Replacement Plan

40 Year Building Asset Management Plan $ Contribution

$ Contribution

Synthetic Playing Surfaces Renewal Fund

Building Asset Management Fund

Car Park & Surrounds Plan

$ Contribution

Car Park & Surrounds Maintenance Fund

• Cambridge Bowling

• Reabold Tennis

• Floreat Surf Lifesaving

• City Beach Tennis

• City Beach Pavilion

• Floreat Tennis Club

• Reabold Tennis

• Cambridge Bowling Club

• City Beach Tennis • Floreat Tennis Club

• Lake Monger Recreation Club

• Lake Monger Recreation Club

• West Leederville Sporting Club

• West Leederville Sporting Club

• etc

• etc

10 Year Building Maintenance Program & Unplanned Mtce $ Withdrawal

Club Request and DSR approval (if applicable) $ Withdrawal

Town Park Program

$ Withdrawal


the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012 • 123

asset + resource management

A 40-year Building Asset Management Plan – a theoretical model of the maintenance and renewal required for a building from its inception – drives the contributions required from the Town and the associations into a building fund. The contributions are split between the Town and association two-thirds to one-third. The plan was developed using typical building component costs and applying condition standards for maintenance and renewal. The application of monies from the building management fund is made in accordance with a 10-year building maintenance program, which was developed from visual inspections of building condition. The program is pitched at a level that is meaningful to the Town and the association, so the maintenance and renewal activities can be understood and agreed upon. Beyond the planned maintenance, the policy also provides for the association to undertake urgent maintenance, and maintenance that is considered to be minor works. It was a natural progression to incorporate synthetic playing surfaces and lighting into the policy, as associations have been approaching the Town to contribute to the upgrade or renewal of these surfaces for a number of years. Unlike building assets, the asset management planning for renewal is undertaken by the clubs themselves, who are in the best position to understand wear, tear and replacement costs. The final element of the model incorporates external elements that service the facility – typically car parks and fencing. It is a pooled fund, managed by the Town for external works. The policy also includes a series of guidelines detailing how the Town will implement the policy at the operational level. The guidelines provide the mechanism to increase the contributions annually, based on the percentage change in the Rawlinsons index for the preceding 12-month period. This is a key asset management principle, which ensures that the model does not lose its link to building costs. Also featured in the guidelines is a charge for contract administration, the terms of which are set out in the lease. This will cover the cost of employing a full-time worker to administer the building maintenance contracts and implement the planned maintenance program. In addition, it covers the cost of the biannual inspections of the buildings, the review of the condition and revision of the building maintenance program. Other key points of the guidelines are: • The Town is responsible for coordinating annual services to ensure the safety of the building premises, with respect to fire protection services, asbestos inspections and emergency lighting; • Capacity is built in for associations to respond quickly to urgent/emergency maintenance;

• ‘Minor works’ enable associations to deal with minor building issues without reference to the Town; • The association may take on planned works, but must do so in accordance with the Town’s procurement policy (with the Town seeking alternate quotes or calling tenders where appropriate). This was an important inclusion, as a number of clubs have utilised volunteer labour to maintain their facility; • Commercial/development opportunities are outlined with specific reference to room hire, food and beverage sales and sponsorship signs. Gambling is specifically prohibited; • Subleasing to commercial operators is generally deemed not acceptable; • The balances, deposits and withdrawals of the individual building and synthetic courts funds will be reported each year in the Town’s annual report; • The ownership of funds, and the application of funds following a termination (of the lease) event is outlined at clause 13. The guidelines categorically state that the Town has full control of the funds; • The policy is reviewed in part every two years, and as a whole every five years. Associations expressed concern regarding the openness of the review. In response, the committee decided to lock in the two-thirds/one-third split between the Town and the association to offer some level of comfort. This is incorporated in the lease. The implementation of this policy will see an annual provision being made of $690,000 towards renewing community facilities. Of that sum, $470,000 is attributable to building maintenance (including the contract administration) and $175,000 is provided annually towards synthetic surface and lighting renewal. With the estimated replacement value of the buildings totalling $24.3 million, the maintenance and renewal provision is 1.9 per cent of the replacement value – a figure that falls well within the acceptable parameters for building maintenance. The Town’s commitment as a result of adopting the two-thirds share of the required maintenance/renewal contribution totals $460,000 – $315,000 towards buildings, $27,000 to car parks, and $118,000 to synthetic courts/greens and lighting renewal. Over the past four years, from net of rent received, the Town had been spending on average net $57,000 per annum on facility maintenance. It was a big jump to increase its annual commitment to $460,000, but one the council was prepared to make. It has funded the increase through rates, which required a further 1.5 per cent increase this year.

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streetscapes Artist Impression – Oxford Street from Vincent Street

Delivering local government projects

Effective partnerships with the private sector: Leederville Masterplan

By John Giorgi, JP Chief Executive Officer, City of Vincent

Overview Leederville, an inner city suburb in Perth, has a unique ‘grunge culture’ derived from a youthful population and alternative entertainment venues. Although vibrant, the town centre and streetscapes are tired. The multi-award winning Vincent Vision 2024 established a Vision for Leederville – a community that celebrates its rich heritage and tapestry of life with flair. Reflecting this, a Masterplan has been created – a blueprint for sustainable urban development – focusing on the environmental, economic and social needs of the community. Modelled on transit-orientated development, the Masterplan encompasses the principles of ‘Network City and Directions 2031’ and involves the identification of eight use-specific precincts, which will see Leederville developed to meet its potential.

Leederville Masterplan and transit-orientated development (TOD) In 2005, the City of Vincent, an inner-urban local authority with a population of 31,500 residents and covering an area of 11.3 square kilometres, commissioned town planning consultants to undertake a Masterplan for Leederville. The Vision for Leederville, which stems from the multiaward winning community visioning project Vincent Vision

2024, is one of a community that celebrates its rich heritage and tapestry of life with flair – where all people are valued and respected in a unique, friendly and inviting community. The City engaged consultants to design and implement the project in February 2004 and it was launched in July 2004. From its inception, the project aimed to involve the whole Vincent community by various consultative means geared for maximum participation. The Masterplan is modelled on transit-orientated development (TOD) principles and aims to create a blueprint for the future development of the Leederville business area, focusing on the environmental, economic and social needs of the community. Principally, the Masterplan espouses the principles of the Western Australian Government’s ‘Network City’ and involves the identification of eight specific precincts within Leederville for retail concentration, education, civic uses, food/markets, offices, high density residential and entertainment. In addition, the Masterplan proposes the redevelopment of two of the city’s at-grade car parks for multi-level mixeduse icon buildings. These significant developments are seen as a means of progressing the required streetscape and urban design improvements in the town centre, along with facilitating developer confidence in the Masterplan and encouraging associated development. the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012 • 125


The Masterplan also proposes the creation of an invigorated and robust community square close to the Leederville café strip that will act as a magnet for a diverse range of activities that will complement the Leederville image. Definitions of TOD vary from region to region resulting from densities permitted and the size of transit systems. However, as a general guide TOD can be defined as ‘an area of compact and mixed-use development within a half-mile (800 metres) of a major transit stop that facilitates walking and transit use. The urban design should focus on the pedestrian over the automobile’ (Renne 2008). TOD refers to locating moderate to high-intensity commercial, mixed-use, community and residential development close to train stations and/or high-frequency bus routes to encourage public transport use over private vehicles. (DPI 2008) The principles of TOD strongly support the Western Australian State Government’s vision for a sustainable future as outlined in ‘Network City’ and the ‘State Sustainability Strategy’. TOD stems from the principles of New Urbanism and best practice urban design based on the premise of compact and well-connected urban form and infrastructure. A key aspect of TOD is to achieve an effective integration of land use and public transport infrastructure within an 800-metre radius. This integrated approach serves to enhance accessibility by travel modes other than the private car, and provides the opportunity to intensify existing activities and to promote new uses that will make better use of transit facilities and services. TOD principles are achieved through coordinating development, public improvements and a variety of land uses and activities to create places that embrace and evolve around transit systems. TOD is to be considered more than a physical entity and should seek to embrace social and economic goals including achieving community revitalisation and vitality, neighbourhood cohesion, social diversity and public safety. The Masterplan outlines eight major precincts in the Leederville Town Centre. Each precinct has its own vision and set of criteria for future development. Built Form Guidelines have also been developed for the respective precincts according to the vision of the Masterplan and the criteria specific to its needs.

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The eight precincts (as shown in the diagram): 1. Oxford Street – Leederville Parade to Richmond Street The Masterplan recognises the elements that have made Oxford Street so successful, and aims to retain them whilst allowing continued development and intensification. 2. Education Precinct – TAFE and Distance Education Centre The Education Precinct consists of TAFE, Distance Education Centre, the Department of Sport and Recreation, Margaret Kindergarten and the Leederville Oval. The Masterplan aims to integrate these with a legible, pedestrian friendly structure so as to produce a holistic education precinct. 3. Civic Precinct – City of Vincent Administration and Civic Centre, Library and Local History Centre The Loftus Street Civic Precinct is comprised of the City of Vincent Administration and Civic Centre, the Loftus Centre recreational facilities and the new City of Vincent Library and Local History Centre. The centre is an established and successful civic centre, which the Masterplan aims to consolidate, and provide more effective pedestrian links to other precincts. The Masterplan highlights the potential redevelopment of the Vincent Street Leederville Child Care site. 4. Oxford Markets – The Avenue Car Park The Masterplan vision for this precinct is to provide public car parking in a multi-storey facility with a supermarket and food markets at the ground level. Also in the Masterplan are a new icon mixed-use tower and a revitalised ‘laneway’ at the rear of the Oxford Street shops. 5. Entertainment Precinct – Newcastle and Oxford Streets, and Carr Place

streetscapes Leederville Town Centre Masterplan

The Masterplan aims to encourage new entertainment possibilities whilst effectively containing them within the existing precinct and buffering residential development. 6. Oxford Town Square – Frame Street Car Park

1. Carr Place Precinct

The vision for this precinct is to create a discernible southern gateway to Oxford Street. The site has been nominated as the new Town Square and the location of a new mixed-use tower. The site currently consists of on-grade public parking and this will be accommodated in a new multi-storey public car park with retail/ commercial frontage to the new square.

The scope of this part of the project involves the commissioning of an urban design/architectural consultancy to prepare a set of design and built form guidelines for the precinct addressing: • Pedestrian/vehicular movement and connectivity; • Lot size and land use mix;

7. Carr Place residential

• Built form scale, height, density and diversity;

The vision for the precinct is to introduce ‘sliding’ densities and heights to encourage the amalgamation of smaller lots and allow higher density developments to occur.

• Energy efficiency and water sensitive design;

8. Newcastle Street Commercial/Network City – Office Precinct – Centred around the Water Corporation site The precinct encompasses the current Water Corporation site and Newcastle Street (from Loftus Street to Carr Place). The Masterplan vision sees an intensification and consolidation of development along Newcastle Street. The corner of Newcastle Street and Loftus Street has been identified as a site for a future high-rise development. Draft Built Form Guidelines for the Leederville Town Centre have been prepared to encapsulate the essence of the Leederville Masterplan Concept Plan by detailing indicative built form examples and general development requirements for the eight precincts. Three additional planning and design studies were also formulated:

• Street typology and cross sections; and • Parking and accessibility. 2. Leederville Station Precinct This part of the project involves the commissioning of an architectural/transport consultancy to develop design scenarios that improve integration of the station with its surrounding urban catchment. The key elements of this part of the project include: • C onfirmation of current and future origin/destination demand; • C onfirmation of cross-sectoral movement patterns and desire lines; • D eveloping design options that improve pedestrian amenity within the station precinct, including the immediate station environment and the gateways to adjacent urban areas; and • E nsuring that the design of the precinct conforms to ‘Designing Out Crime’ principles.

Artist Impression – Leederville Market

the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012 • 127


3. Public Transport Study The aim of this part of the project is to augment transport studies already undertaken for the Leederville Masterplan, to ensure that the Town Centre and Leederville Station Precincts adequately provide for bus and possibly CAT servicing requirements. Upon completion and delivery of these additional studies, the City will hold a workshop to determine matters of height and form in the Leederville Town Centre. The City’s Leederville Masterplan project has an estimated $300 million value of buildings on City-owned land and about $600 million on other land controlled by the Water Corporation and under private ownership.

West Perth Regeneration Masterplan The Leederville Masterplan is one of a range of major projects being undertaken in the immediate area. There are currently three proposed urban regeneration projects within an 800-metre radius of the Leederville Train Station, namely the Perth Stadium, the West Perth Regeneration Masterplan, and a Local Planning Strategy being carried out in West Leederville by the Town of Cambridge. The West Perth Regeneration Masterplan has been prepared given the importance of the land in terms of its proximity to the Perth Central Business District as well as public transport links, and consultants have been commissioned to undertake a Regeneration Masterplan for the area. The current mix of land uses in the regeneration area includes industrial, commercial and residential. Within the commercial and industrial areas between Newcastle Street, Loftus Street, Charles Street and Old Aberdeen Place there is a hangover of ‘old’ industry from this previously inner-city industrial area. The commercial and industrial land uses

within the study area are not being utilised to their potential, resulting in a lack of high-quality land use. The residential area north of Newcastle Street has a low resident and dwelling ratio, especially given that the current zoning for this land is R80 and a number of former residences have been converted to consulting rooms. The extension of the Leederville Masterplan studies to encompass the West Perth Regeneration Area signifies the City of Vincent’s commitment to urban renewal on the northern fringe of Perth’s CBD. The nine hectares of land have the capacity to provide an additional 80,000 square metres of commercial offices, and between 600 and 800 apartments. The proposed density will sustain a local retail offer that will allow future residents to walk to local food and café outlets, while also having the option of an eight-minute walk to the café strip of Oxford Street. The regeneration study recommends the construction of a footbridge at the southern end of Cleaver Street, which will provide pedestrians and cyclists a connection over the combined rail and freeway barrier to the City West and West Perth. This link will join Beatty Park and Kings Park as a dynamic activated pedestrian spine. This report also suggests a Cleaver Street train station that, while it does not figure on Perth Transit Authorities’ future plan, gained tacit approval from some members of the DPI. The West Perth Regeneration Area represents one of the best opportunities to achieve the density increase to Perth’s inner ring from 8000 to 25,000 residents by 2031.

Conclusion The Leederville Masterplan is a blueprint for urban design that when implemented will provide numerous opportunities for business development and be a prime example of successfully encapsulating the principles of TOD.

Artist Impression – Civic Square

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The Street Furniture Story

Founding of Street Furniture Australia treet Furniture Australia was founded in 1986 by Darrel Conybeare and William Morrison of the architectural firm, Conybeare Morrison International (CM+ these days). For over 25 years, CM+ has been responsible for a formidable body of work focussed on the upgrading of the public domain, as evidenced in a diverse array of iconic projects ranging from City Walk, Canberra; Macquarie Street/Circular Quay, Bicentenary Improvements; seating at Parliament House, Canberra; Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach; Sydney Showground and Sydney Olympic Park; Rose Bay Promenade, Rose Bay; Kuching Waterfront, Sarawak, Malaysia together with numerous town main street improvement projects.


The award-winning firm has broadened its design orientation, inviting outside industrial designers to contribute outside the practice, as well as professional landscape design consultants. In 1990, CM+,together with Oi Choong, founded its related landscape architecture firm, Context Landscape Design, and the customised furniture division of Street Furniture Australia. Street Furniture’s broad family of civic furniture can be relied upon to improve the overall design quality of the environment it furnishes. ‘We call it the “enhancement factor”’ says Darrel ‘and it succeeds every time. We have worked systematically on the street furniture project since 1978, producing a uniquely Australian product line, which has become finally accepted in the market.’ This furniture has presence, a personality which is due, in part, to its clean lines, its colour, the way sunlight

illuminates its form and passes through it to make memorable patterns of light and shadow upon the ground. Darrel Conybeare & William Morrison, Founding Directors Progress in Victoria ‘Being new to Street Furniture Australia, and now more aware of the depth of its resources, presents me with amazing opportunities. There is one simple reason that special requests are now easy for me – being able to work “outside the box”. ‘Street Furniture’s structure and approach, that anything is possible, enables the company to provide solutions to most councils’ specific requirements. With assistance from our R&D Architect, Ron Yuen; Custom Production Manager, Arthur Foster and Core Production Manager, Eugene Zehtser, together with the support team in between, the seemingly impossible can be achieved. ‘And of course, Terrain Services have now partnered with Street Furniture Australia to distribute product throughout South Australia and the Northern Territory, thereby greatly extending the reach of Street Furniture’s brand awareness. Both these regions like to do business locally so we have high expectations that both companies will benefit in the coming year.’ Paul Quilty, New Business Manager, Southern/Central Region

For more about Street Furniture Australia, visit thethe australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012 • 129 australian local government inFrastructure yearbook 2011/2012 •X


It all began in 2005..


ational Tapping Service started out as a specialist team providing Hot Tapping solutions on all Gold Coast Sewer & Water Main assets. Developing a strong local name the NTS company soon expanded into the civil construction industry, successfully completing various pipeline infrastructure projects. NTS Specialist Pipework Contractors Pty Ltd is a quality driven company. At NTS our vision is to become the leading sustainable Specialist Pipe Work & Civil Infrastructure Contractor around Queensland. The company’s proven record of hard work, dedication and innovation allow the company to rapidly expand successfully delivering difficult and demanding projects. The dedicated teams are continuously in training programs to keep up with the demands of the civil industry’s safety, quality and environmental requirements. We have developed specialised expertise in providing Design and Build solutions for multi-utility projects around the South East Corner of Qld, with equipment and personnel to carry out contracts of all sizes and complexity in both urban and rapidly growing regional locations. NTS has become a major player in the Design & Construct, Installation, Upgrading, and Relocation of all Utilities. The company has successfully completed a significant number of sewerage, drainage and water projects for government authorities.

We welcome the opportunity to work with clients on design and build, open book arrangements and partnering to meet the clients’ requirements. NTS starts from a position where we have:• an open mind with no pre-conceptions or prejudices, • a desire to prove that we can provide the best service and the best finished product at a competitive price, • a willingness to work openly and honestly with the client, • a willingness to adapt and change to meet the demands of the working arrangement, • an expectation of continuous improvement with commercial benefits that arise from improved working practices being equitably shared. We look forward to showing new clients the benefits being experienced by our current clients. Moving to the Future NTS is always looking to the future. The company is all about bringing tomorrow’s technology to overcome the many obstacles in today’s infrastructure. The Insert Valve is the latest technology that NTS has brought to the Australian infrastructure industry. The company is the only licensed company in Australia to supply and install the Team Insert Valve. The Insert Valve removes the need for planning and overcoming shut down issues, being able to install under pressure on all pipe types (Steel, uPVC, C900, Cast Iron, Ductile Iron and Asbestos Cement).

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Cabonne Council wins award


Cabonne Council’s $3.6 million Waluwin Community Centre is the ‘jewel in the crown and the pinnacle of best practice’ for the delivery of rural health services. These were the terms used by New South Wales Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Dr Andrew McDonald, when he officially opened the building in 2010. One of the most exciting initiatives undertaken by Cabonne Council, the centre in the small country town of Molong, was Australia’s first fully integrated primary health and community care facility. The result of an amazing partnership between all three tiers of government, health service providers, community organisations and local residents, the facility houses general practitioners, community health workers and allied professionals – such as a speech therapist, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, and child and family health nurses – as well as pathology services. It is also the headquarters of the Council’s Family Day Care and Family Links services, and is the venue for community playgroups, mothers’ groups, community meetings and training sessions. This new model of care has a focus on preventative care, involving early detection of illnesses, early diagnosis, intervention and treatment.

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As with most rural communities, the availability of health services and the delivery of those services is a critical issue for local residents.

The result of eight years of extensive consultation, planning and construction, the Waluwin Centre was funded by an eclectic collaboration, including the federal government’s Regional Partnerships program, NSW Health, Greater Western Area Health Service, and Cabonne Council, as well as community groups as diverse as the Country Women’s Association (CWA) and the Anglican Church. Conceived in 2002, the concept of the Waluwin Community Centre was refined and developed over the following eight years through an extensive planning and consultation process. As with most rural communities, the availability of health services and the delivery of those services is a critical issue for local residents.

The initial phases involved a number of community consultation meetings and interviews to determine and investigate what health services the community needed and desired, and the best methods of delivering those services. During the planning and construction period, the council and community always remained enthusiastic and committed to the goal, despite a number of funding and logistical hurdles. The council recognised very early in the planning process that strong council, government and community partnerships would give the project the best chance of becoming a reality.

More and more country towns are finding themselves with no doctors, downgraded hospitals and declining clinical services. This often means long and inconvenient travel to larger centres, and a lack of public transport can make this particularly arduous for the elderly or those without private transport.

Therefore the Waluwin Centre was constructed with funding from Cabonne Council, NSW Health through the HealthOne program, the Federal Government through the Regional Partnerships program, Greater Western Area Health Service (GWAHS) and Molong branch of the Country Women’s Association, as well as a significant in-kind contribution from the Anglican Church, which sold the land to the Council.

In developing the ‘one-stop health shop’ concept for Molong, Cabonne Council and the local community recognised that there had to be a paradigm shift that would not only retain health and clinical care, but would deliver ancillary services previously unavailable in the shire.

NSW Health provided $1.6 million, Cabonne Council $1.1 million, Regional Partnerships $500,000, GWAHS $360,000 and the CWA $20,000. Cabonne Council saved its ratepayers an estimated $200,000 by project managing all aspects of the building from design to construction.

The council coordinated the consultation process, which involved local residents, community organisations, the Central West Division of General Practice, and both federal and state governments.

The centre is administered and operated on a day-today basis by a partnership involving the state government’s Western NSW Local Health Network, Central West Division of General Practice and Cabonne Council.

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The HealthOne component of the centre allows better co-ordination of care to residents of Molong and surrounding towns and villages of Manildra, Cudal, Cumnock, Yeoval, Euchareena and Garra. The team works closely with Molong and Orange hospitals and provides follow-up care to people after hospitalisation. The centre allows visiting specialists to use accommodation within the building, saving residents sometimes painful and inconvenient journeys to regional centres. The building is strategically located next to Molongâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s major aged care facility, providing direct access for the elderly residents. The centre employs about 18 people, 13 of which positions have been created by the construction of the facility. The building also incorporates a five-kilowatt solar power generating system, which has reduced greenhouse gases by 8.8 tonnes a year â&#x20AC;&#x201C; equivalent to removing 38 cars from the road each year. The council has plans to further reduce its reliance on the electricity grid, and income from the sale of solar energy generated from Waluwin Centre is now being placed into a rolling fund that will be used to purchase and install further solar power systems on other council buildings. Cabonne Council has also promoted the solar power plant as an example of environmental initiatives that may be adopted by individuals and organisations within the community. As part of the educational process, an internal display unit was erected within the building to allow the public to monitor the system. Named after an Aboriginal word meaning health and wellbeing, the Waluwin Community Centre stands today as a permanent example of how federal, state and local government can come together with private industry and the local community to develop a concept, just as this project has developed into one of the most important facilities ever constructed in Cabonne Shire.

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The centre allows visiting specialists to use accommodation within the building, saving residents sometimes painful and inconvenient journeys to regional centres.

financial modelling

Australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE FINANCE By Brian Dollery, Professor of Economics and Director of the UNE Centre for Local Government Since the turn of the millennium, a number of state and national inquiries organised by various local government associations have demonstrated conclusively that a large number of local councils in all state jurisdictions face acute financial stress. Moreover, the degree of financial unsustainability, exemplified by a massive and growing local government infrastructure backlog, is now so large that it cannot be solved by conventional methods of funding.

Finding that a large number of local councils were financially unsustainable were the following reports: The South Australian Financial Sustainability Review Board Report (2005) Rising to the Challenge; the Independent Inquiry into the Financial Sustainability of NSW Local Government (‘Allan Inquiry’) (2006) Are Councils Sustainable; the Queensland Local Government Association’s (LGAQ) (2006) Size, Shape and Sustainability (SSS) program; the Western Australian Local Government Association Report (WALGA) (2006) Systemic Sustainability Study: In Your Hands – Shaping the Future of Local Government in Western Australia; and the Tasmanian Local Government Association Report (LGAT) (2007) A Review of the Financial Sustainability of Local Government in Tasmania. Two recent national inquiries into local government have drawn essentially the same general conclusions. The Commonwealth House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics, Finance and Public Administration (‘Hawker Report’) (2004) Rates and Taxes: A Fair Share for Responsible Local Government, and the PricewaterhouseCoopers Report (PWC) (2006) National Financial Sustainability Study of Local Government, both established that financial distress was common in all Australian local government jurisdictions. By far the greatest source of financial stress stems from funding adequate local infrastructure provision and maintenance. It has been argued that the main burden of financial distress has been borne by deferred local infrastructure maintenance and renewal. This has led in turn to a massive local infrastructure backlog. Everything from local roads and water and sewerage networks to the local community hall appears in need of immediate and expensive attention in numerous jurisdictions. These pressures have been compounded by recent extensive flood damage across several states. Given the crucial nature of local government infrastructure, urgent steps are obviously required to remedy the problem. While the magnitude of the task ahead is massive, its exact size is uncertain. Estimates vary widely. For instance, the Allan Inquiry (2006) into financial sustainability in New South Wales estimated that expenditure in the order of $6.3 billion is required to return infrastructure in that state to a satisfactory level and concluded that, against a background the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012 • 135

financial modelling

By far the greatest source of financial stress stems from funding adequate local infrastructure provision and maintenance.

of stagnant rates, revenue and falling grants income, restoration fell well beyond the financial means of New South Wales local councils. Other inquiries have reached similar conclusions. In South Australia, requisite expenditure was estimated to be in excess of $300 million (FSRB 2005), in Western Australia around $1.75 billion (WALGA 2006), and in Tasmania $29 million (LGAT 2007), whereas the nationwide review undertaken by PricewaterhouseCoopers (2006) estimated high, intermediate and low monetary values for Australian local government infrastructure restoration as a whole at about $15.3 billion, $14.5 billion and $12 billion respectively. While there are understandable doubts regarding the veracity of these figures, the nature and significance of the infrastructure funding problem is now universally accepted by all scholars of Australian local government. Attention has turned to the most efficacious methods of remedying the problem. Various approaches have been suggested. These options range from judicious borrowing by individual local councils to proposals for the creation of an infrastructure renewal fund by the Commonwealth Government, given the existence of acute vertical fiscal imbalance in the Australian federation. However, this latter proposal received short shrift in the 2007/08 national budget, with the (then) Commonwealth Minister for Local Government rejecting the idea outright. Furthermore, the history of grants between local and higher levels of government suggests that even if such a fund were created, local councils would be justified on scepticism regarding long-term access to the fund. Given the magnitude of the local infrastructure financial crisis, and the pressing need to address the problem in a cost-effective and sustainable manner, the question deserves the urgent attention of policy-makers, practitioners and scholars alike. A possible funding solution to the local infrastructure problem centres on the issuance of asset-backed securities by local government into capital markets along the lines of similar longstanding arrangements in American local government finance. It can be argued that Australian local government already has access to a relatively attractive asset in the form of rates and charges, which could form an income stream payable on a fixed income security issued by the Australian local government sector. In the United States, state and municipal governments have a long history of issuing debt instruments in order to

raise funds for both general obligations and project finance. This class of bonds is commonly referred to as ‘municipal securities’. American municipal securities can be classified into two distinct groups. The first category encompasses tax-backed debt; a bond issued by municipal governments secured by their future tax revenue. A special type of instrument in this class known as a ‘double-barrelled in security’ is particularly important, since the revenue stream backing the asset is comprised of general tax revenue and income generated by a particular class of tax or charge. The second category of American municipal bond – the so-called ‘revenue bond’ – is secured by the revenues generated by a particular project or business unit. This type of revenue bond is typically classified according to the source of revenue stream used to finance the bond. Examples include utility revenue bonds, seaport revenue bonds and transportation revenue bonds. The American experience of fundraising using municipal securities has not been without its problems. Most recently, the global financial crisis has severely afflicted the municipal bond market and a large number of American local government entities will default, involving billions of dollars. Indeed, some observers fear that the magnitude of this default may be sufficient to trigger a second global financial crisis. Important lessons emerge from the American experience for Australian local government. Australian local government itself has been far from immune to the problems stemming from the global financial crisis. Although no firm estimates exist, hundreds of millions of dollars worth of investments in so-called ‘junk’ bonds, made by Australian local councils through Lehman Brothers and other large multinational financial institutions, look set to be lost. This also has ramifications for the design of borrowing by Australian local government. It can be argued that revenue bonds represent an excellent method of securing funding to deal with the local infrastructure crisis in Australia. This would allow Australian local councils to seek funds in capital markets to finance the infrastructure backlog by using designated streams of income flowing from specific council activities, preferably in designed special purpose vehicles. For example, in New South Wales, local water utility infrastructure restoration and investment could be raised by means of the issuance of debt instruments against water revenue, which could generate sufficient levels of funding for local water infrastructure.

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It should be noted that the sources of finance differ between Australian local government systems and its American counterparts. In particular, many American local government jurisdictions can employ local income taxes and local sales taxes, which represent ‘growth taxes’ in circumstances of economic growth – a fact recognised by the investment community. By contrast, Australian local government enjoys no analogous growth tax. This obviously means the absolute magnitude of borrowing would be smaller than that available in the United States. However, the revenue bond approach advocated here would still have the capacity to cover most of the infrastructure backlog in Australian local government. Various safeguards would have to be put in place to prevent market instability of the kind now afflicting the American municipal bond market. The most important would be the creation of an independent national finance authority to run local government borrowing through bonds backed by default guarantees by state and Commonwealth governments. This entity would act as a conduit between local councils and capital lenders by issuing bonds collectively for councils, thereby providing lower cost finance stemming from the aggregation of risk across many local authorities. It would also provide the financial and legal expertise that individual local authorities presently lack, which would provide further certainty to borrowers and lenders alike. In addition, it would be able to ‘bundle’

Various safeguards would have to be put in place to prevent market instability of the kind now afflicting the American municipal bond market. The most important would be the creation of an independent national finance authority to run local government borrowing through bonds backed by default guarantees by state and Commonwealth governments.

small, homogeneous public-private partnership projects into substantial single funding arrangements attractive to investment banks. Institutions of this kind already exist in some local government jurisdictions. For example, all of the Nordic countries have an independent national finance authority, with one dating back to 1898! In Anglosphere nations, similar examples can be found. Thus the Local Government Finance Authority of South Australia fulfils many of the functions of a national finance authority in that state. The Authority was established under the Local Government Finance Authority Act 1983, and it is managed and administered by a Board of Trustees. The functions of the Authority are to develop and implement borrowing and investment programs for the benefit of local councils and prescribed local government bodies. In Canada, six provinces have analogous arrangements, 17 American states have ‘bond banks’, and New Zealand has just launched a national local government finance authority. The massive infrastructure backlog in Australia surely requires a national local government finance authority based along the lines of the Local Government Finance Authority of South Australia. Backed by Commonwealth and state guarantees against default, employing highquality financial and legal expertise, and enjoying scale economies, a national local government finance authority could issue debt on behalf of Australian local government as a whole, and provide finance essential to tackling the local infrastructure backlog.

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waste management management

Making Refuse Trucks Safer


estern Star Trucks Australia Pty Ltd (WSTA), importers and distributors of Western Star Trucks, MAN trucks and buses and Foton Trucks is introducing to the Australian market a new brand of commercial truck – Dennis Eagle Commercial Vehicles. Dennis Eagle Commercial Vehicles are manufactured in the United Kingdom by Dennis Eagle Ltd. This exciting new product is based on the Dennis Eagle Elite 2 product line but has been adapted and further developed to ensure that it meets the demands of the Australian marketplace. The Elite 2 is designed from the ground up to meet the special needs of the refuse industry. The spacious cab is equipped with large glass areas and tailored mirrors for superior all around visibility and plenty of room for crew and all of their gear. While the key feature is the unique characteristics of the Elite 2 cab, its chassis is designed for severe service and equipped with some of the best components to ensure the lowest cost of operation – Cummins ISL engine with SCR technology, Allison 3000

series transmissions, Hendrickson air suspension on the rear axles, Dana front and rear axles with Knorr-Bremse disc brakes all around and ABS and traction control as standard fitment. In addition, there are plenty of industry specific options to ensure that the product not only can meet the needs of the refuse market but will appeal to any operator who operates in a demanding start/stop environment and is looking for a more modern, safe and efficient product.

For sales enquiry please contact: Dennis Eagle Commercial Vehicles Australia Tel: 0401 565 341

Sales enquiries – Mark Gobessi, General Manager – Tel: 0401 565 341

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waste management

Waste becomes art in regional New South Wales By Sue Clarke, Environmental Learning Adviser, NetWaste NSW, and Gillian Kearney, Administration Project Officer, NetWaste NSW many community and school groups enter the competition each year. This community art project covers a wide sector of the community as it encourages artists from across the spectrum (school-aged to professional) to showcase works made from reused and recycled waste materials.

Finding new and exciting ways to effectively engage the community about reducing landfill and changing the way they look at ‘waste’ has been an ongoing challenge for those in the waste and recycling industry. Luckily, each year there is a great opportunity for a large cross-section of communities across New South Wales to put on their creative caps and harvest all sorts of waste and recycling items to make works of art. NetWaste is one of several voluntary waste groups across New South Wales that participates in this wonderful community initiative each year. It isn’t a new initiative, but the communities within NetWaste have embraced the concept with enthusiasm and innovation.

This year, the Regional Exhibition will be held in Grenfell on 25 June, and will showcase the winning entries from 21 participating councils. At last year’s Regional Exhibition, over 160 artworks were on display and represented six years of Waste to Art within NetWaste.

‘Waste not want not’ ‘Waste to Art’ was introduced within the NetWaste region specifically to challenge everybody’s concept of ‘waste’ The idea was that anyone wishing to create something from waste would start to see the individual items that they were collecting to make their project as ‘resources’, which would then take on new value. In doing this, there is a flow-on effect to the greater community, and certainly

Last year’s event was hosted by the Central Darling Shire Council, and the exhibition was held in Menindee. The Menindee Regional Exhibition was a fantastic experience, and a reminder to all involved of what a powerful community engagement model the Waste To Art program can be. A Waste Weaving Workshop was held in conjunction with the opening of the exhibition, and provided a fantastic opportunity for community members and visitors to come and join in the experience of setting up an exhibition, and to talk informally about waste issues in their local areas.

NetWaste is one of eight voluntary waste groups in regional New South Wales and consists of 28 local government shires, covering a third of New South Wales and 300,000 residents in rural and Regional New South Wales. It encompasses The Blue Mountains to Lachlan Shire, then northwest to Broken Hill and north to Brewarrina.

waste management

A collaborative approach… How it all comes together Waste to Art is also a great example of collaboration between public and private sector organisations as SIMS Metal Pty Ltd have been proud sponsors of the Regional Exhibition since its introduction in the NetWaste region. In 2010, $10,000 in prizes was given away and judging by the comments from many of the 400 exhibition visitors, there were lots of inspired Waste to Art enthusiasts out there who had already started thinking about this year’s entry for their local Waste to Art competition. An event such as this doesn’t just happen. It is a continuous ‘loop’ of activities that flows from one year to the next, emulating a ‘closed loop’ resource recovery system. Just when one competition finishes and packs up, NetWaste is preparing for the next year’s event, with some local competitions for the following year commencing in late August, just two months after the Regional Exhibition. Waste to Art has four distinct planning stages: The first of these is that many of the participating councils run a waste workshop in the lead-up to their local exhibitions. The workshops aim to encourage community members to get creative and use everyday items of waste that would normally be thrown away. The second stage is the local competitions and exhibitions that are held in each participating council area. The third stage is the Regional Exhibition, which is where the winning artworks from each local competition are transported by NetWaste to a Regional Exhibition that is hosted by a different council every year. The fourth and final stage is a travelling photographic exhibition that features many of the artworks from the Regional Exhibition and moves

around the NetWaste region over the following six months, as a reminder to everyone that we all have to take some responsibility for the 21 million tonnes of waste that is created in Australia each year. A beautiful and powerful environmental message conveyed through art rather than legislation or tip fees.

Local and memorable… and personally relevant Last year, over 400 people visited the exhibition in Menindee, which wasn’t bad considering that the population sign on the outskirts of town states: ‘Population 93’. The exhibition curator, Colin Jones from Mudgee, made the comment that ‘not only does Waste to Art help to save the planet by reusing material that would otherwise go to landfill, but it also provides the population of the west with a spectacular annual art exhibition that is becoming more and more popular’. It is hoped that everyone involved in Waste to Art comes away with a different perspective about the world of waste, and sees those old bottle tops, milk cartons, plastic bags, barbed wire and chocolate wrappers that they throw away in a new light. As with many education programs, it is often hard to quantify the effect of the lesson learnt along the way about how we view waste and ways to reduce it. Many of the success stories about changing attitudes and diversion of waste are anecdotal, but approximately 900 entries from 20 participating councils across the NetWaste region last year, as well as an increase in the number of artworks that are sold each year, has to be seen as a positive outcome. The artworks sitting in their new homes end up as topics of conversation, and the Waste to Art message continues.

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education + training

Local Government Training Package capacity, capabilities and challenges By Beth Einthal and Matt Lees, Government Skills Australia Government Skills Australia (GSA) is the national Industry Skills Council for the government and community safety sectors representing the Vocational Education and Training (VET) and workforce interests of correctional services, local government, public safety, the public sector and water. GSA provides industry intelligence on skill needs and training solutions to the Australian Government to develop a skilled workforce. GSA carried out research to examine the current uptake of the Local Government Training Package (LGA04) and identify the key issues impacting on its uptake. The resulting report discusses the findings through the experiences of a sample of councils, Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) and key stakeholders from across Australia, as well as through statistical data collated from within GSA, the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) and the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG). GSA collected data via two online surveys examining the experiences of a sample of councils and RTOs from across Australia, consultation with a variety of local government stakeholders, and a review of the available literature and data on the local government industry. GSA has identified that 63 RTOs have LGA04 on their scope of registration, and are able to deliver to the 558 councils across Australia. The qualifications featuring most prominently on the scope of RTOs are the Certificate II, III and IV Local Government generalist qualifications. It is therefore not surprising that the three LGA04 qualifications being delivered most by RTO survey respondents were Certificate III in Local Government, Certificate II in Local Government and Certificate IV in Local Government.

Council respondents identified that they utilise a range of LGA04 qualifications; the most prominent qualification levels are Certificate IV and Certificate III. Data obtained from the Enterprise Based Productivity Places Program (EBPPP) and NCVER also indicate that the Certificate IV level qualifications are the most utilised. This suggests that the number of RTOs delivering local government qualifications is not representative of the needs of local government. RTO survey responses indicate that a number of qualifications in the Land Management and Operational Works specialist streams are either not currently being delivered or seldom feature on the scope of RTOs; the Certificate I qualification and the Advanced Diploma qualification are also rarely used. This indicates a need to review the content and relevance of a range of qualifications within LGA04. A significant amount of training delivered to council staff is organisational training or short courses (non-endorsed); skill sets would therefore likely be wellutilised by councils. Almost one-quarter of RTOs had 377 students complete LGA04 qualifications in 2010; nearly 40 per cent of RTOs had 321 students complete any training from LGA04. For a large portion of RTOs, this was an increase in students. This indicates almost a comparable interest in training using full qualifications, and training using units of competency or skill sets (nationally endorsed or RTO defined). NCVER data indicates that LGA04 completion rates have remained relatively static and that some qualifications are under-utilised; however, this is only representative of

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education + training

publicly funded training. The data collected from RTOs indicates that there may be considerably more enrolments and/or completions in LGA04 than is apparent; this highlights issues with accurate data collection within the local government industry. Further research and consultation with RTOs and councils would be useful.

The following LGA04 qualifications were not being utilised by council respondents:

A number of issues were identified by respondents as impacting on the uptake of LGA04; these include:

• Certificate I in Local Government (Operational Works);

• The local government sector is a thin/niche market with councils often having an uncoordinated approach to training; • LGA04 qualifications are perceived as restrictive and obsolete once staff leave the local government industry; • Due to the diversity of roles and the wide range of work undertaken in local government, other training packages are utilised for suitable training; • Knowledge regarding LGA04 is not being retained within councils due to staff turnover, transfers and council amalgamations; • A portion of councils and RTOs lack awareness of LGA04 and its capabilities; • There is a preference for training using less industryspecific qualifications (i.e. from BSB07); • The lack of resources, suitable trainers and funding for resource development directly impacts on an RTO’s decision not to deliver LGA04; and • More RTOs offer the Business Services Training Package, making these qualifications more accessible to councils. Eighty per cent of RTO respondents indicated that they face barriers in offering LGA04 qualifications to their clients; these are predominantly centred around resource development and raising councils’ awareness and understanding of LGA04, as well as the benefits of nationally recognised training. Over one-third of respondents also expressed an interest in collaborating resources for LGA04, further illustrating a need to address this issue. Nearly one-quarter of council respondents were not currently using and had not used any qualification from LGA04. The two most prominent reasons refer to a lack of awareness about LGA04, or other courses or training being more relevant.

• Certificate I in Local Government; • V ocational Graduate Certificate in Local Government Management;

• C ertificate II in Local Government (Operational Works); and • A dvanced Diploma of Local Government (Operational Works). Nearly one-third of RTOs indicated that they were considering removing LGA04 qualifications from their scope of registration, with the most prominent reason being a lack of demand. This indicates a need to address a range of issues with regard to awareness of LGA04, engagement with the local government industry, development of LGA04 and resource collaboration. Over half of RTO respondents are working in partnership with councils. As there is a lack of demand from councils for training, developing improved relationships between councils and RTOs seems critical to help make delivery of LGA04 commercially viable. To be encouraged to use training from LGA04, councils identified that they need more information about the training package and what it can do for their council, more RTOs offering the training, and an improved choice of qualifications. Training from LGA04 was chosen by council respondents predominantly due to the local government specific content, its relevance to the workplace, the advantage of a nationally recognised qualification, and its portability of skills and knowledge. The report examines and discusses these findings in greater detail, then makes recommendations as to how they can best be addressed. The report will be published shortly and made available to industry groups and via the GSA website.

For further information visit or contact

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education + training education

New higher education awards by distance for technical staff


echnical staff must keep up to date with advances in the design, construction and maintenance of roads and their asset management and environmental impacts. To meet this need the Centre for Pavement Engineering Education (CPEE) offers a range of unique courses, some of which are tailored specifically for local government employees. CPEE is accepting applications for its pavement engineering and infrastructure asset management programs; the latter developed jointly with the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia (IPWEA) and the University of Tasmania. Applications are invited for the Graduate Certificate of Pavement Technology and Master of Pavement Technology as well as the Graduate Certificate in Infrastructure Asset Management and Graduate Diploma in Infrastructure Asset Management. CPEE and the University of Tasmania are also developing a graduate certificate and a graduate diploma course in Road Engineering and Construction. It is anticipated that the proposed courses will be approved in time for applications to be accepted in

October/November this year and that the courses will begin in January 2012. All of the CPEE courses, which are very practical, encourage direct application of the skills and knowledge acquired. The application of skills learnt to problems in the workplace is facilitated by the distance education format, which does not require attendance at a university for faceto-face lectures. The four-unit Graduate Certificate and eight-unit Master of Technology/Graduate Diploma courses can be tailored to suit the needs of individuals wishing to update their knowledge or become more productive in the workplace. Technical staff can gain valuable qualifications in as little as 12 months and be able to apply what they learn directly to their day-to-day activities.

To receive further information, email

Education Enhancement Opportunities Graduate Certificate & Diploma in Infrastructure Asset Management

Accredited by the University of Tasmania, these programs have been jointly developed by the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia (IPWEA) and CPEE to meet the need for enhanced technical skills in the field of public works Infrastructure Asset Management

Core infrastructure units on: Asset Management Fundamentals Asset Management Practices Financial Asset Management with a range of electives

These courses provide today’s Infrastructure Asset Management Specialist with the opportunity to expand their skills and knowledge and to gain recognition with a University postgraduate award.

Road Engineering & Construction

Infrastructure Asset Management

Currently under development is a new CPEE/ University of Tasmania postgraduate program planned for 2012 If you would like to study one of these exciting programs contact CPEE on (03) 9890 5155 or at log on to

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Monadelphous delivers the difference


onadelphous is a leading Australian engineering group providing construction, maintenance and industrial services to the resources, energy and infrastructure sectors. The company’s infrastructure division provides multidisciplinary services to the water, solid waste management and transmission pipeline markets, ranging from government to major international resources customers. Infrastructure General Manager Stuart Murray says the division is focused on delivering innovative and technicallyadvanced engineering solutions in diverse markets. “Our commitment to high quality work and building long term relationships with customers has earned us an enviable reputation for engineering excellence,” Mr Murray said.

The partnership with AnaeCo sees Monadelphous provide solid waste treatment plant construction services, as well as operation and maintenance projects with AnaeCo supplying technology and design services.

“Our water, solid waste management and transmission pipeline businesses deliver services that match our company’s strengths to our customers needs.

The joint venture is an alternative waste technology solution to replace landfill disposal, which can cause environmental problems such as soil and groundwater contamination, and greenhouse gas emissions.

“We have core skills and deep experience aligned with Monadelphous’s activities as a leading engineering group in the national resources and energy market.”

Monadelphous’s commitment to the transmission pipeline market is extended through the acquisition of onshore pipeline constructor KT Pipeline Services.

The company’s water team has a solid reputation as principal contractors in the construction of major water projects.

KT has extensive experience in the oil and gas, minerals and water sectors.

The team of professionals with a successful track record in water resource management, water and wastewater asset design, construction, and operations and maintenance has delivered significant water and wastewater treatment projects throughout Australia. The company’s solid waste management business is by joint venture with listed solid waste management technology company AnaeCo Ltd. The joint venture allows the delivery of design-andconstruct waste management solutions using AnaeCo’s patented DiCOM bioconversion system.

It has operated since 1986 and worked on major projects throughout Australia and overseas in high pressure gas pipeline and facilities construction. Monadelphous, whose shares are listed in the S&P/ASX 200 Index, aims to be recognised as a leader in its chosen markets and a truly great company to work for, to work with and to invest in. The company has about 6000 employees in major offices in Perth and Brisbane, and in regional offices in key resources and industrial centres across Australia.

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For more information visit


The challenges facing

regional water equality

By Tracy Ong

In July 2010, the United Nations amended the universal declaration of human rights to include access to clean, safe water as a fundamental right. You would think, then, that all people in Australia would enjoy access to safe, secure water and wastewater services, right?


or most Australians, particularly those in metropolitan areas, this isn’t a problem. In New South Wales, Sydney and Hunter Water customers enjoy water with 100 per cent compliance with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG). But for many of those living in rural and regional parts of the state, accessing safe, secure and efficiently priced water and sewerage services is much less straightforward. For one, the majority of regional water consumers are paying more for their water and sewerage compared with those in metropolitan areas of the state. Based on a uniform household consumption rate of 200KL per annum, close to 65 per cent of the state’s local water utilities have higher ‘typical residential water bills’ than the metropolitan average. Many of New South Wales’ rural and regional residents are also at heightened risk of drinking water contamination. In 2008-09, 12 local water utilities failed to meet minimum microbiological water quality standards. Between them, these utilities serviced over 25,000 connected properties. Put simply, higher prices coupled with a heightened contamination risk means that large numbers of rural and regional consumers are paying more than their city counterparts, but cannot expect the same quality standards. This could not be any better illustrated than

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‘We are concerned that customers in regional and rural areas are not receiving adequate service and are exposed to water quality risks, particularly in New South Wales and Queensland.’ Chloe Munro, Chair, National Water Commission (2011) by the fact that half of the 12 utilities that failed to meet minimum quality standards in 2008-09 had above average water prices, including three whose prices were close to 20 per cent above the average price across the state. These facts are certainly concerning, but they are by no means surprising – having been extensively documented in recent years. An AECOM report, prepared for Infrastructure Australia (IA) earlier this year, found that some regional communities – particularly in New South Wales and Queensland – are ‘exposed to a greater risk of illness from pathogens, algal toxins and other physical and chemical contaminants’, with ‘sections of the community with weakened immune systems particularly at risk’ (AECOM, 2011). Similar concerns have also been raised in recent months by the National Water Commission and the Productivity Commission. Yet despite this strength of evidence on the challenges facing the state’s regional water sector, a clear pathway for effective and lasting reform has successfully evaded government, at both the state and local levels. A new report by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) and Castalia Strategic Advisors seeks to buck this culture of inaction and to restore price and standard equality for regional water consumers. The report, ‘Regional water equality in New South Wales’, brings a fresh perspective to the key challenges facing the sector, as well as their underlying causes. In a clear break, the report finds that weak governance frameworks and a lack of functional separation, corporate accountability and commercial incentive are all key contributors to the sector’s underperformance. By outlining an alternative and practical pathway for lasting and effective reform of the state’s regional water sector, the report also builds on the existing range of reform options. Reform advocates, to date, have focused almost exclusively on the forced amalgamation of local councils into county councils, regional water corporations or voluntary alliances. Undeniably, such amalgamations will ensure much-needed scale as well as other flow-on economic benefits. Amalgamations also go to the very heart of the problem; that there are considerably more utilities operating in

regional New South Wales – with the vast majority of these run by general purpose local councils – compared with other states (see Figure 1).

Figure 1 – Water utilities by state or territory State or territory

Number of water utilities

New South Wales

109 (including 106 local councils and three metro utilities)


72 local councils and regional water utilities

Australian Capital Territory

Single state-wide utility


16 (including three metro utilities and 13 regional utilities)


Three regional water utilities

South Australia

Single state-wide utility

Northern Australia

Single state-wide utility

Western Australia

Five (including one single state-wide utility and four small local utilities)

(Source: AECOM, 2011) * Includes Sydney Water, Hunter Water and Sydney Catchment Authority However, as effective as they would be, forced amalgamations will ultimately have to be imposed on unwilling councils and, as such, are both politically and operationally difficult. A failure to appreciate these difficulties and to look at alternative options for generating scale and other operating efficiencies is, according to the report, a key reason for the lack of reform progress in New South Wales to date. The report concludes that in the absence of forced amalgamations, the next most effective and lasting reform pathway is to better ‘incentivise’ local councils to change their operating structure, while better ‘supporting’ them through the change process. Underpinning this approach is a fundamental understanding that while structural change must be implemented by the local councils themselves, the ‘incentive’ for change must ultimately be shaped and driven by the state government. According to the report, effectively incentivising local councils to adopt a more efficient operating structure, above all, requires a strengthened regulatory framework.

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‘Given the potentially severe consequences for public health of a breach of drinking water quality standards, compliance with the health-critical elements of the ADWG should be mandatory for all utilities.’ Productivity Commission, 2011 The current regulatory framework, articulated in the Best-Practice Management of Water Supply and Sewerage Guidelines, is found by the report to be ‘light-handed’ at best and fundamentally incapable of bridging the gap with respect to water quality and pricing. The fact that less than 30 per cent of local utilities are achieving 100 per cent compliance with the Best-Practice Guidelines is a clear illustration of this. This ‘light-handed’ approach also extends to pricing. In contrast to metropolitan utilities, and the private sector operating under the Water Industry Competition Act 2006, local utilities are free to set their water and sewerage prices independently of regulation. The report finds that this absence of pricing oversight has stifled the incentive for efficiency gains, innovation and continuous improvement, contributing to higher price rises in regional areas, relative to the cities. To counter this weak governance and lack of accountability on the part of utilities the report recommends, as a minimum, mandating compliance with all relevant plans, guidelines and standards contained in the state government’s Best-Practice Management of Water Supply and Sewerage Guidelines, including the healthcritical elements of the ADWG. The paper also calls for greater oversight of pricing decisions, including bringing local utilities under the authority of the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal of New South Wales (IPART). Ultimately, these changes would establish a legal obligation on utilities to meet minimum standards, rather than simply a recommendation to do so. Hand-in-hand with a weak regulatory framework is, according to the report, the failure to effectively link local utility performance with state financial support. Decades of poor financial performance by regional water utilities has entrenched a culture of reliance on state government subsidies. Reflecting this, funding commitments for the ‘Country Towns Assistance Scheme’ – the principal state funding program for local utilities – now exceed $1.1 billion.

Successive governments have failed to drive improvements by directly linking these subsidies to utility performance, creating a situation whereby local utilities not only have no legal obligation to meet best-practice guidelines, but also no meaningful financial incentive to do so. According to the New South Wales Office for Water, local utilities must comply with all 19 requirements – including 10 for water and nine for sewerage – of the Best-Practice Management Guidelines in order to qualify for state subsidies. However, a utility is deemed to have complied if it ‘has made significant progress towards these requirements and has a plan and clear target in place to meet all the requirements’. The report finds the current requirement for utilities to comply with Best-Practice Guidelines in order to be eligible to deduct a dividend to be similarly ineffective. The State Minister for Water can – under the Local Government Act 1993 – disallow a local council from deducting a dividend if it has not substantially complied with Best-Practice Guidelines, and can also ‘direct a council to comply with any particular aspect of the Guidelines before making any further deduction’. The reality, however, is that the vast majority of utilities simply do not have the capacity to pay a dividend, and therefore have little incentive to comply. In 2008-09, only three per cent of utilities proposed to pay a dividend from the surplus of their water supply or sewerage businesses. The report identifies stronger linkages between CTAS funding and compliance with Best-Practice Guidelines, as well as additional funding specifically linked to marked performance improvements, to be key components of an incentive driven approach.

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Importantly, the report argues that any additional state funding will only be necessary in the short to medium term, with performance improvements eventually enabling savings for government as demand for CTAS funding eases. A further key conclusion of the report is that a large number of regional utilities stand to gain considerable benefits from the outsourcing of water and wastewater investment and operations to a single private provider. This would involve a number of local councils, perhaps structured along catchment boundaries, collectively outsourcing their water and wastewater investment and operations to a single private service provider, under a PPP or other concession. With several notable exceptions, private sector engagement in the regional water sector has been largely non-existent. In contrast, the state’s metropolitan utilities – and their customers – have realised considerable benefits from private sector engagement. As just one example, the privately financed, constructed and operated Prospect Filtration Plant provides 85 per cent of Sydney Water’s drinking supplies – equating to 3000 megalitres a day. The report finds that outsourcing to a large private sector operator will instill necessary degrees of commercial incentive and corporate accountability in the delivery of water and sewerage, enabling local councils to: • protect and grow their revenue bases • a llow for a high degree of local control and autonomy, including the retention of water and sewerage assets in council ownership • f acilitate greater commercial efficiency and long run viability, as well as essential managerial and technical expertise

sector efficiencies and technological innovation, address the poor financial performance of a number of local utilities. Crucially, this would in turn enable utilities to address the current under-investment in regional water and sewerage infrastructure. Latest available figures suggest that close to 40 per cent of the state’s 106 local water utilities are unable to generate an adequate return for their capital investment, and are presently operating at a loss. This poor financial performance is mirrored in the performance of the regional water sector as a whole. In 2008-09, the sector recorded a net loss after tax of $27 million, as well as an economic real rate of return (ERRR) of just 0.6 per cent. In stark contrast, the two metropolitan utilities, Sydney Water and Hunter Water, reported combined profits in 2008-09 of $220 million, and an ERRR of close to 1.7 per cent. According to the report, it is this poor financial performance on the part of a number of utilities that underpins their inability to meet minimum quality and pricing standards, as they are simply unable to invest enough to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their infrastructure. The report estimates the sector’s annual capital expenditure requirements to be in the order of $790 million in 2008-09, or around four per cent of the total sector-wide asset replacement value of $19.9 billion. Actual capital expenditure in 2008-09 was around 3.4 per cent of total replacement value, suggesting that while local utilities are, on average, spending enough to cover replacement costs and growth, they are not investing enough to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their water or sewerage infrastructure.

• i mprove the sector’s ability to better coordinate integrated water cycle management across whole catchments and areas. The benefits of outsourcing will, according to the report, ultimately flow through to regional consumers and ratepayers in the form of more stable and sustainable water supplies and pricing that more accurately reflects the reasonably efficient cost of supply, as well as reduced health risks. Above all, the report finds that joint outsourcing of water and wastewater investment and operations would, through the realisation of economies of scale, private the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012 • 149


State government subsidies delivered through the CTAS, while assisting to contain this shortfall in recent years, have been unable to plug the gap and, as a result, a growing infrastructure investment shortfall has arisen.

Figure 3 – Annual capital expenditure of water utilities (as a percentage of total fixed asset value) – state and territory averages

IPA’s report has estimated this investment shortfall to be in the order of $150 million per annum (in real dollars). A comparison of investment levels across the regional water sector with the state’s metropolitan utilities further illustrates the extent of this investment gap. Even when discounting the Sydney Desalination Plant, the paper finds that regional utilities are, on average, spending about half the amount being spent by Sydney and Hunter Water (see Figure 2).

Figure 2 – State regional water sector and metropolitan comparison – annual capital expenditure (as a percentage of total fixed asset value)

(Source: Castalia analysis, 2011) The report also compares capital expenditure levels of utilities in other states and territories (see Figure 3).

(Source: IPA analysis based on the WSAA 2008-09 National Performance Report, and NSW Office for Water’s 2008-09 Performance Benchmarking Report) Moreover, the report finds that annual capital expenditure of around four per cent of total asset replacement value is only adequate if asset replacement is in a long-run steady state. In practice, assets such as water distribution pipes are likely to have been originally constructed in waves corresponding to population growth spurts as well as increasing access to reticulated water between the 1950s and 1970s. Given their low profitability, the capacity of utilities to undertake sizeable capital works programs in order to cover these ‘lumpy’ costs is, according to the report, simply not there. Outsourcing would enable local councils to reverse this growing shortfall, whilst at the same time enabling the state government to reduce the reliance on its CTAS. Longer-

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term, this will allow scarce state government funds to be re-allocated to other infrastructure sectors facing chronic under-investment, such as local roads and rail. The report finds that a handful of councils have already taken proactive steps in respect to outsourcing, including Bega Valley Shire Council. Due to an influx of sea-changers combined with holiday makers descending on towns in the summer holidays, the capacity of Bega Valley Shire Council to provide sewerage services was being severely stretched. Under an alliance agreement with Tenix, Bega Council has been able to significantly upgrade its existing wastewater systems, whilst at the same time increasing efficiencies and reducing costs. This included upgrading five existing wastewater treatment plants, as well as building five new plants to service smaller villages. The alliance has also enabled Bega Council to reduce its capital and operational expenditure through the introduction of innovative Membrane Bio Reactor (MBR) technology. Rather than relying on a traditional gravity sewerage system, the deal introduced a pressure sewerage system that has meant the council is able to reduce its pump stations from 25 to one, as well as introduce MBR technology, which allows it to recycle high-quality effluent for irrigators, taking pressure off potable water supplies. Tenix will operate the plants – which remain under council ownership – until the end of the contract in 2017, with an option to extend the contract for an additional five years. The $75 million project means that the council can lock in its operation and maintenance costs over the life of the 10-year contract, while building capacity for further growth. However, on the whole, proactive reform on the part of local councils has been lacking. As a result, while Sydney Water and Hunter Water continue to raise the bar for water utilities in other states, particularly in respect to innovative re-use and private outsourcing, the state’s regional water sector trails further and further behind. In a positive sign for the industry, the new State Coalition Government has revived an inquiry started by the previous government on regional water reform, with the state Office of Water recently announcing it will come up with recommendations on sustainable water and sewerage treatment services.

Given the extent of the longer-term challenges facing the sector, particularly in respect to its growing infrastructure shortfall, it is highly unlikely that government will recommend the status quo. Equally, however, while forced amalgamations would provide much-needed scale and associated economic efficiencies, these benefits are likely to be outweighed by political difficulties, making this approach equally as unlikely. Accordingly, an incentive-driven approach may provide the only viable pathway for restoring pricing and quality standards parity for the state’s regional water consumers. Importantly, this pathway could also provide the only means for local councils to manage their mounting obligations to ratepayers, consumers and the environment. But for this incentive-driven approach to be successful, the report argues, councils must also be appropriately ‘supported’, particularly in managing any financial and operational impacts associated with a change in their operating structure. A key component of this support will be assisting local councils to engage meaningfully with private sector operators. In this regard, the report cites the considerable potential for an ‘advisory’ body that could assist local utilities to achieve best quality and value in collective outsourcing and in its broader negotiations with the private sector. The report also cites the benefits that an advisory body could bring in assisting local councils to evaluate and deliver other large-scale infrastructure projects – beyond water and wastewater – in a cost-effective and efficient manner. Queensland’s Local Government Infrastructure Service (LGIS) is cited as a possible example in this regard. The LGIS, a joint initiative between the Local Government Association and the Queensland Treasury Corporation, assists local government in the procurement and delivery of cost-effective infrastructure. Within the water sector, the LGIS offers local councils assistance in all areas of delivery of both water provision and sewerage services, including construction, operation and retail. LGIS also investigates the potential for collaboration between local councils, which could facilitate economies of scale, supported by centralised maintenance programs.

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Ligman Lighting – Outdoor lighting solutions


fficient Lighting Systems Pty. Ltd (ELS) are the Australian distributor for the Ligman Lighting range.

Ligman Lighting manufacture an extensive range of exterior lighting product that are distributed throughout the world, with offices in USA, Great Britain, India, UAE, Netherlands, and Thailand. The range has been supplied by ELS to the Australian and New Zealand market for 14 years, and has been extensively used in commercial lighting projects over this period. ELS imports the finished but unwired product. The product is wired and assembled at the ELS facility in Brunswick Victoria, ensuring full compliance with Australian standards. The products are distributed around Australia by specialist commercial lighting companies. This also ensures the product is delivered on time and at a competitive price when compared to many other imported products.

chromating prior to being finished with a UV stabilised polyester powder coating finish. There are many existing examples of Ligman products that have endured many years under extreme environmental conditions. All products are identified by the International Protection IP classifications that demonstrate their protection against ingress of water and dust. All products are also indentified with IK ratings indicating their impact resistance. Ligman Lighting products are suitable for all exterior applications including sports lighting, carpark lighting, street lighting, public spaces, walk ways, shopping areas, landscape lighting, flood lighting, and decorative lighting. For full details of the extensive range Ligman have a very comprehensive website with product data, photometric data, and installation manuals –

Only top quality and energy efficient components and lamps are used. The Ligman range is manufactured from die cast aluminium. Ligman subject all aluminium components to a tightly controlled double step pretreatment process and 152 • the australian local government INFRASTRUCTURE yearbook 2011/2012 X • the australian local government inFrastructure yearbook 2011/2012

For a copy of the 800-page catalogue, or any other lighting information, please contact Efficient Lighting Systems Pty. Ltd. – or phone ELS on 03 9222 5522

lighting, exterior + interior


Australia’s international lighting event By Bryan Douglas, Chief Executive Officer, Lighting Council Australia Australia recently hosted SPARC, the country’s first international lighting event.


orld-class speakers discussed topics ranging from organic light-emitting diodes to the critical importance of lighting in conserving energy, and sports lighting for the Olympics. Impressive displays showcased leading-edge lighting technology. The festive opening ceremony, a gala dinner, and the colour and flamboyance of the coinciding Vivid Sydney festival of light, music and ideas produced added appeal. More than 3000 international and Australian visitors participated in SPARC 2011 at Sydney’s Darling Harbour between 6 and 8 June 2011. The event was presented by Australia and New Zealand’s lighting industry through Lighting Council Australia and the Illuminating Engineering Society of Australia and New Zealand.

Deputy Premier of New South Wales, the Hon Andrew Stoner, officially opened SPARC 2011 during the welcome reception, which set the tone with street performers, a jazz band and a dazzling ice sculpture.

SPARC exceeded all expectations in terms of visitor and exhibitor numbers and feedback from participants. Factors contributing to this success include placing all exhibitors on an equal footing by having a uniform size display booth, and attracting internationally renowned speakers such as Mark Major from Speirs + Major, and Chou Lien from BPI

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lighting, exterior + interior

Brandston International. The added attraction of holding the event alongside Vivid Sydney also contributed. In cooperation with Events New South Wales, a number of Lighting Council Australia members illuminated buildings in the historic Rocks precinct as part of Vivid Sydney.

Australia. The GLF is a forum of peak industry lighting organisations from around the world representing over 5000 lighting manufacturers and US$50 billion in annual sales. The major focus of the GLF is currently LEDs, with immediate priorities being:

Thirty-seven Australian and international companies displayed the latest lighting technology, recent innovations and new products. Displays reflected leading-edge developments in interior, exterior, retail and commercial lighting, and lighting controls.

• liaising with stakeholders, including governments and international organisations, to ensure that the quality of LED products provides consumers with a good experience;

Chou Lien, a world-renowned lighting designer from BPI Brandston International in New York, delivered a presentation about positioning ourselves in a world of low-carbon trend, and the rising demand for eco-friendly lighting and lighting design—from office towers to retail developments and airports, to other public venues. Klaus Vamberszky, Executive Vice President Technology, Zumtobel Group, discussed light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and the changes, challenges and opportunities for luminaire manufacturers. Global Lighting Forum (GLF) President, Jan Denneman, talked about recent achievements of the world’s lighting industry and the GLF’s program of work associated with preparing the international marketplace for the advent of LEDs.

• a ssisting with international LED standards development and encouraging the harmonisation of standards in different regions of the world; and • p roducing educational material on solid-state lighting, including the development of best practice guides and a guide to solid-state lighting nomenclature. SPARC’s success clearly indicates that Australia is ready to take its place on the world stage of premier lighting events alongside other major events in Frankfurt, New York, Milan, Hong Kong and Guangzhou. SPARC will become a regular biennial event and plans are already underway for SPARC 2013. To register interest in SPARC 2013, go to

Dr Gerry Wilson, CSIRO’s Leader, Flexible Electronics, looked over the next horizon at the rapidly emerging display and lighting application: organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). These use a film of organic compounds that emit light in response to an electric current. Energy efficient, safe, cool, thin and lightweight, flexible and transparent, and providing excellent light quality with no flicker, OLEDs will create opportunities to make lighting devices in forms not previously imagined. Also on the agenda was theatrical lighting, sports lighting, lighting design software and visualisation, and understanding the coding of colour in the visual system. The three-day event coincided with the Global Lighting Forum meeting in Sydney, hosted by Lighting Council

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Electronic solutions stack up for lighting the outdoors


ustralia is not that far behind the curve in terms of technologies and applications in outdoor lighting. For those responsible for large-scale exterior lighting and willing to look outside the square there are significant energy and maintenance savings to be had. Notably the City of Sydney has been seriously exploring the benefit of light emitting diode (LED)-based product to light its vehicular and pedestrian transit ways. It has been conducting a trial of LED street lighting hardware, which has also led to the opportunity to demonstrate the dimming and control capabilities of such a system.

The City of Sydney has recently issued a tender, which could effectively lead to the re-lighting of the city with solid state light sources. ‘Up until about now, the LED hasn’t been truly competitive in street lighting,’ said WE-EF Australia’s managing director, Alistair Robertson, ‘but we’re at a point where we’re going to see that situation change’. It’s the case that LEDs are rapidly building a compelling performance advantage in terms of life, reliability, quality of light and energy and maintenance cost savings versus high pressure sodium, the established light source this past 30 years or so; this dynamic will require that the Standards catch up to reflect the capabilities of this new technology, and this process requires ‘only time’ according to Robertson. One of the trial installations in Sydney demonstrates bi-level street lighting: the lower level satisfies the requirement for the current street lighting application, the higher level satisfies the levels for special events held in this thoroughfare. ‘It’s quite interesting that the installation actually spends most of its time operating at half power. This has enormous benefit from the point of view of energy usage and improved life well beyond the already impressive rated values,’ said Robertson who also added that the trial installation was intended to run for three months but could now be there for up to a year. The ability to vary light levels is a key and distinguishing factor between LED and traditional discharge light sources. ‘For example, the trial installation in Sydney can be at 100 per cent light levels between four and eight PM on a busy (winter’s) Friday night,’ explained Robertson, ‘and then from eight PM to midnight, with conditions having changed, you might switch to 75 per cent leading to 50 per cent or even less overnight’. Electronics in the form of wireless technology means that entire cities can be controlled right down to an individual street light. Recently such a system, marketed as ‘LeafNut’, was acquired by Hobart City Council in Tasmania. ‘The light source in this case was Metal Halide but the principle is the same’, said Robertson, ‘Hobart City Council can manage their outdoor lighting asset via a web-based application; this means controlling light levels, monitoring energy consumption and being able to program cost efficient maintenance schedules’. For outdoor lighting, LED and electronics ‘stack up’ for certain! Top left: Light levels at half power (50 per cent). Bottom left: Light levels at full power (100 per cent).

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Light for Liveable Cities

A sustainable city will increasingly use a few well-chosen landmarks to represent the city view. Lighting such icons is an integral responsibility, so that they compete in terms of design and not brightness in the urban nocturnal scene.

FLC280 Projector Sky Tower Auckland (NZ) Architect: Craig Craig Moller Architects

WE-EF LIGHTING Tel +61 3 8587 0444 Fax +61 3 8587 0499

lighting, exterior + interior

Streetlighting: Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action’s regional action By Judy Bush, Coordinator, Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action Streetlighting is, for many councils, the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, and a major electricity cost. Modernising our streetlighting by replacing outdated mercury vapour lamps with energy efficient fluorescent technology makes sense. However, before being able to undertake a major streetlighting retrofit program, complex regulatory, technical and financial issues have had to be investigated and resolved.


orthern Alliance for Greenhouse Action (NAGA), an alliance based in northern metropolitan Melbourne, has been working to address these challenges and develop partnerships with other levels of government, and with Victoria’s privately-owned electricity distribution businesses, to facilitate these efforts. The Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action formed in 2002 as a network that shares information, coordinates emission reduction activities, and cooperates on the research and development of innovative climate change projects. NAGA’s goal is to substantially contribute to the transition to a low-carbon future by delivering effective programs and leveraging local government, community and business action. NAGA’s members are the Cities of Banyule, Darebin, Hume, Manningham, Melbourne, Moreland, Whittlesea and Yarra, as well as Nillumbik Shire Council and the Moreland Energy Foundation Limited (MEFL).

Energy efficient lighting technology Members of NAGA have been preparing for the replacement of inefficient older public lighting technology with energy efficient options, by trialling new technologies.

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Streets are harsh environments for external lighting; the lights must be impervious to moisture and dust, withstand vibration and be easy to maintain and replace. As a result of a number of trials conducted by NAGA and others, fluorescent streetlighting – both linear fluorescent lights as well as compact fluorescent lights – have now been approved for use on our streets, to replace the energyhungry old-style mercury vapour lights. As well as trialling different lamp technologies, NAGA has also been trialling different control gear and photo-electric cells. The technical aspect is only one element, however, of the complex barriers and challenges in improving our streetlighting energy performance; financial, regulatory and administrative barriers also exist. NAGA developed a ‘Regional Sustainable Public Lighting Action Plan’ and a ‘Streetlighting Roadmap’ to map out the key actions, stakeholders and partnerships required to achieve largescale retrofits.

Economic and financial solutions The cost of major streetlighting retrofit programs constitutes a substantial investment for many councils. NAGA joined forces with over 50 other councils and the Municipal Association of Victoria for the ‘Give Our Streets the Green Light’ campaign. The campaign has had some success in advocating to the Victorian and federal governments to provide funding for a switch to energyefficient streetlighting, with commitments in 2010 from both levels of government for funding support. These commitments go part of the way to covering the large upfront costs of the switch to energy efficient streetlights. Details of funding processes are yet to be released. Nonetheless, several NAGA member councils are forging ahead with their plans for large-scale changeovers. NAGA member Nillumbik Shire Council has recently undertaken a major changeover program, with funding assistance from the Sustainability Fund. The process took significantly longer than scheduled due to contract negotiations with the electricity distribution business, and delays associated with on-ground installations. However, the lights are now in place across the suburbs of Eltham, Diamond Creek, Research, Hurstbridge, Panton Hill, St Andrews, Plenty, and Yarrambat. Identifying opportunities to reduce costs can be a significant factor in fast-tracking the changeovers.

NAGA member City of Yarra was the first council in Victoria to decouple the purchase of the new streetlighting materials from the changeover (installation) contract with the electricity distribution business. This approach has substantially reduced total project costs for the council. Council is sharing its experiences with other members of NAGA to fast-track similar approaches in other areas.

Waste and recycling NAGA has received another grant from the Victorian Local Sustainability Accord to investigate appropriate recycling and waste treatment for the old mercury vapour light fittings that are now being replaced. The project will identify best practice waste procedures, with an emphasis on reuse of light components rather than recycling (following the standard waste management hierarchy). The project will also clarify recycling options and requirements (including treatment of the mercury in the fittings). The grant will also fund a project to investigate streetlighting designs for new developments, particularly in the urban growth areas on Melbourne’s urban fringe, including designs for decorative poles and lights in new estates.

Conclusion NAGA’s leadership role in promoting the installation of energy efficient public lighting has been developed over a number of years; NAGA has built on its strong technical expertise and advocacy roles to move beyond the identification of technical barriers to now address systemic issues. Through a regional approach, NAGA members have collaborated to effectively share information, learn from the experiences of others in the alliance, and strengthen their collective voice in advocating for effective solutions. NAGA members are continuing to work closely with local and state government representatives and electricity distribution businesses to address strategic, administrative and financial issues and barriers preventing the uptake of energy efficient public lighting.

For more information, visit:

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Thorn – lighting people


horn Lighting, part of the Zumtobel Group, is a highly recognised, global brand for professional indoor, outdoor and Industrial lighting. The brand delivers pace-setting technical innovations to broad-based target groups and stands for reliability, outstanding customer service, high functionality and technically advanced design.

PEC provides the framework for Thorn to deliver efficient and reliable lighting concepts and customer-driven services contributing to a healthy and comfortable environment.

Thorn’s range includes products for a wide range of applications including urban, sports, office, retail and industrial lighting. Their focus on utilising the latest energy efficient technologies such as LEDs and lighting control systems, ensures that they are able to deliver energy efficient lighting solutions. Thorn’s lighting solution philosophy is based on their PEC program, which aims to improve living quality through performance, efficiency and comfort. P+E+C = Quality Lighting • Performance – provide the best visual effectiveness • Efficiency – minimise the use of energy, CO2 emissions and waste • Comfort – give people satisfaction and stimulation

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To find out more about Thorn’s range, visit or contact their customer service team on 1300 635 954 to request a copy of their new Comprehensive Product Catalogue.

E/fact Slim 3

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Alumet Classic


Beautifying your environment with Thornâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lighting Solutions When it comes to exterior lighting, Thorn has over 80 years experience in providing a complete lighting solution that suits any urban or landscape environment. We offer a wide range of urban lighting products; ranging from recessed architectural floodlighting through to decorative bulkheads. In addition to our products Thorn focuses on providing expert advice to ensure the most energy efficient products and solutions are utilised for all applications.

1300 635 954

VicSuper. Great results for you. And them.


At VicSuper, we believe that sustainability and superannuation are a perfect fit. Both are about achieving the best quality of life in the long term, and both need action and foresight today to prepare for tomorrow. Today, superannuation is not just an investment for your future; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an investment in the future. Visit to request a free information kit.

The Sustainable Super Fund

Visit and obtain a copy of the relevant Product Disclosure Statement. You should consider this document in deciding whether VicSuper is right for you. VicSuper Pty Ltd ABN 69 087 619 412 AFSL 237 333 is the Trustee of VicSuper Fund ABN 85 977 964 496

Australian Local Government Infrastructure Yearbook 2011  

Australian Local Government Infrastructure Yearbook

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