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The increasing emphasis on Chain of Responsibility means fleet managers need to be proactive in their risk management strategies. Here are five ways to help manage maintenance failure risk: 1. Maintain detailed records Whether repairs and maintenance are conducted in house or by external contractors, good recording and monitoring systems need to be in place. This is to ensure that repair and maintenance times are controlled, costs are managed, performance standards are met and that accurate records of each repair are kept. Apart from monitoring cost and performance, detailed records of servicing, repair and maintenance, are essential to avoid the issue ...
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Words by: Mark Mills, Manager Fleet and Workshops, Sutherland Shire Council IPWEA FLEET Council member Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and the respective regulations were enacted into NSW legislation in February 2014, placing greater levels of accountability for those throughout the supply chain associated with the use of heavy vehicles, to control Chain of Responsibility (CoR) risks and ensure transport safety. As a large operator of heavy vehicles, Sutherland Shire Council was aware of this change but we were not overly concerned, given that we already had good systems and practices in place from both a WHS maintenance and operational perspective. ...
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So, your workshop, fleet administration and mechanical operational buildings are situated within a large depot compound surrounded by other owned assets, facilities and utilities.  It’s the same old story – everybody wants a say but nobody wants to do anything! Being the proactive manager you are, you decide to improve the depot and facilities to enhance the service you provide and increase your customers' experience. You begin with improving workshop wash off, stormwater flow and treatment and identify and act on areas that could impact on the Environment and Heritage Protection Act, you put up a few traffic management signs in an attempt to direct visitors ...
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How healthy is your fleet?

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Over the next few issues of FLEET  intouch we will look at the management system you need to have in place to ensure 'healthy' fleet management. We’ll start by looking at the high level, but critical areas of fleet management: inventory and utilisation. Inventory How well defined is the scope of your fleet? Do you know what you have and where it is? It seems obvious, but the truth is sometimes assets come into a fleet through various departments or have been “inherited” over time. The assets are there and being used, but are not being managed by the Fleet Manager. This situation creates significant risks: Safety:  If you don’t know about the asset ...
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It’s nearly that time of year again – End of Financial Year. With it comes budget reviews, pressure to meet capex targets, chasing invoices for completed projects and so on. From a capital expenditure point of view, it can be difficult to meet all the necessary process requirements in a single budget cycle, especially for complex or imported fleet assets. Preparing specifications, getting stakeholder agreement, extensive request-for-tender processes, tender assessment, approvals, manufacture and delivery all within 12 months may be an unreasonable expectation. Some organisations are now taking a multi-year approach to their replacement program. This means ...
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An ongoing challenge for fleet managers is achieving recognition from senior management and colleagues of the importance of the fleet and the complexity of its management. Without that recognition the necessary support and resources may not be provided. As we well know if the wheels don’t roll, the roads don’t get graded, product isn’t delivered, rubbish isn’t collected, paramedics don’t arrive and so on.  The importance of fleet seems to be at odds with the trend seen in some organisations to diminish fleet resourcing. We see senior staff leave and not be replaced, fleet management get tacked onto other roles, and a lack of investment in professional development. ...
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Four engineering students were invited to speak at IPWEA’s Sustainability in Public Works Conference earlier this week about their views on sustainability in the public works industry. There were some key themes running through the discussions; the speakers wanted to see sustainability integrated into every stage of decision making rather than being an afterthought, and they called on universities to rethink how they approach sustainability in the engineering curriculum, again making it a central theme rather than a tangential element. Elia Hauge, a civil engineering student from UNSW who is also undertaking industrial training at Sydney Water, questioned ...
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The Federal Government has announced $22 million in funding is available under Round Two of the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.  Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities Paul Fletcher said local governments were encouraged to make submissions that deliver innovative, technology-based approaches to improve liveability and increase productivity and sustainability. “Funding is open to all cities, not just our capitals, with 40% of successful projects from Round One located in regional areas,” he said.  Some changes to the Program Guidelines for Round Two have been made based on stakeholder feedback and lessons from Round One. These changes include: ...
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For those who attended this week’s IPWEA Sustainability Conference in Sydney, the closing panel session by four millennial final year university students was as inspiring as it was challenging. The students were not afraid to speak their truths; they saw Australia’s general complacency about resilience and sustainability as being out of touch with the harsh reality of many polluted countries around the world.  Our “clear blue skies and green grass in our backyard” creates a beautiful but privileged environment. The uplifting aspect from each of the speakers was that rather than being negative about our future, they each had come to the conclusion that working ...
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Until now, water authorities and local councils installed manhole covers solely to provide access for maintenance personnel to work in underground networks. As such, they’ve been constructed as robust and durable iron castings that can endure all the required traffic loads in all sorts of weather conditions; and can then be opened to provide access when required. But monitoring this infrastructure has required maintenance crews to be on standby 24/7 at enormous cost to rate payers. Now, there’s keen interest in an EJ innovation that utilises manhole covers as information portals, and gathers data on a network and transmits that information via a low power ...
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Although exciting sustainability initiatives can sometimes seem out of reach for rural and regional councils, a renowned thought-leader says this is far from the whole story.  Speaking in a panel session at IPWEA’s Sustainability in Public Works Conference that was held in Sydney earlier this week, Professor Stuart White, Director of the Institute for Sustainable Futures at UTS, recognised that constrained resources were a reality for many smaller local government areas. However, he said they also have a few advantages over metropolitan areas.   “Regional councils have a large range of opportunities, some that aren’t even available to metropolitan councils,” ...
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The latest road safety benchmarking report from the Australian Automobile Association shows there was a 2.9% increase in road fatalities in the 12 months to March 2018, with 1270 Australians losing their lives on the country's roads. The Australian Automobile Association’s (AAA) Benchmarking the National Road Safety Strategy report also shows all Australian states remain above the Strategy’s notional targets to reduce road fatalities by 30% through the decade to 2020. For the first time, the AAA Benchmarking Report has included data from the Australian Trauma Registry, which shows that in 2016, there had been a 19% increase in severe injuries compared to ...
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New Zealand is set to announce a tourism levy, following a promise last year to bring in a $25 NZD tax on international visitors. The country’s tourism sector is going gangbusters, but, as with many places that people want to visit, there’s pressure on local governments to foot the cost of infrastructure while receiving little in return – something it’s hoped the levy will address. Annual visitor numbers to NZ are expected to climb from 3.7 million to 5.1 million in 2024, and local government infrastructure is straining to keep pace.  “We’ve got billions of dollars ahead of us in the next decade, say, and we can see quite clearly that our funding base, ...
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Pascal Scherrer , Southern Cross University and Betty Weiler , Southern Cross University Every time we hear of the tragic death of a visitor in one of Australia’s spectacular national parks, there is cause for reflection on how we communicate safety messages in nature. Young men and overseas tourists are particularly at risk. flickr/andrea castelli , CC BY-SA Our study , published in the Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism, reviewed some of the signs in national parks in Queensland and Victoria; we also interviewed rangers and park managers. Outdoor recreation inherently comes with risk but there are ways to reduce it without ...
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An amendment to AS 1742 Part 7 (Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, Part 7: Railway Crossings) is open for public comment. Comments close on 10 July, 2018. The amendment covers situations where the crossing is around a curve and the active operation of the crossing may not be visible for truck drivers soon enough for them to stop. In such a situation, repeater signing will be required on the approach. Comments can be provided via the Standards Australia website ; scroll down to 'Discover', and across to 'Public Comment'. A new page will show all drafts open for comment. Insert AS 1742 into the search tab and you can download the draft. You will ...
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Brendan Main , University of Technology Sydney Algal blooms in major Australian rivers are releasing a toxic chemical that may contribute to the development of motor neuron disease (MND). My colleagues and I tested algae from waterways in New South Wales, and found that a neurotoxin called BMAA was present in 70% of samples, including those from crucial water sources such as the Darling and Murrumbidgee rivers. Cyanobacterial blooms and algae are common in water bodies around the world. However, Australia is yet to monitor the growth of neurotoxins in our algae.  This compound is well known overseas, and has been found in waterways in the ...
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More than one hundred thousand tonnes of road sweepings are dumped into landfill every year in Sydney alone. A new facility opening next month will transform this waste into individual, valuable components that can be reused.  Based at Downer's Rosehill asphalt facility, the multimillion-dollar, state of the art recycling facility is expected to divert at least 25,000 tonnes of material from landfill annually, saving the equivalent of five Olympic swimming pools in airspace and reducing carbon emissions by an estimated 20,000 tonnes per year. Street sweepings are largely composed of materials such as organic matter, sand, gravel, glass, metals and plastics ...
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IPWEA President Mat Greskie says recyclables must be kept out of landfill at all costs, as local governments and industry struggle with the effects of China’s import ban on recycled materials. Greskie, who is the CEO of Tasmania’s award-winning Dulverton Waste Management, says allowing recycled materials to be dumped in landfill would undo decades of community education on recycling in Australia and New Zealand. “We really just can't afford to take a huge backwards step here and start landfilling, even if it's for a short time,” he says. “I think that would seriously undermine the community's confidence in recycling and it would be major setback that ...
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Professor Stuart White is Director of the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology, Sydney, where he leads a team of 60 researchers who create change towards sustainable futures through independent, project-based research.  intouch caught up with White ahead of his presentation at the Sustainability in Public Works Conference later this month.  intouch : Stuart, what will you be speaking about at the conference?  White: My presentation will use examples from the research of the Institute for Sustainable Futures at UTS in water, energy, waste, transport and smart cities to look at the future of infrastructure and asset management ...
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IPWEA today announced it will unite the best and brightest minds in asset management to shape the future of Australia’s infrastructure at the inaugural IPWEA Asset Management Congress, to be held in Canberra, 13-16 August. With the theme ‘Communities for the Future, Infrastructure for the Next Generation’, the Congress will bring policy makers, decision makers and asset management practitioners under one roof to discuss, debate and decide the best public infrastructure asset management principles for the next decade. Unlike a conference, the Congress will have concrete outcomes; a communique will be sent to the Federal Government outlining the Congress’ ...
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