HMEP goes to the land of down under

 

A few weeks ago I was invited by Austroads (the strategic road authority of Australia) to give the keynote address at the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) Road and Transport Congress in Hobart, Tasmania.

In common with elsewhere in the world Australia is grappling with a shortage of funding to adequately maintain its road infrastructure and sees good asset management (AM) as crucial in addressing this.

Australia has 580 local councils that are responsible for managing 650,000km roads which represents over 80% of the national road network .

The size of the Councils varies with some of the rural ones covering large geographic areas but with very small populations. The other major differences to the UK is that 40% of the roads are unsealed (i.e. no bituminous surfacing) and rural councils in particular have a large proportion of timber road bridges.

Although the Australian economy has be less affected by the global economic crisis it is still facing similar pressures to public finances. These challenges include:-

  • 25% increase in  population by 2050
  • increase in ageing population (reaching 25% over 65s by 2050)
  • the increasing impact of  climate change
  • 47% increase in freight over the next 30 years

 

The ALGA report of 2010 "The Local  Roads Funding Gap" estimated the gap per annum to cover the backlog and the annual underspend to be 2.0$ billion.

Over 250 delegates attended the Congress many of whom were local councillors. My presentation focused on the HMEP key areas of greater collaboration improved procurement & standardisation and the better AM all of which was very relevant and well received.

As in the UK , Australia has a mixed economy in the take up and application of good AM. Many Council's have AM plans (82% from a limited ALGA survey of 55 councils) but only 69% from the survey use there AM plans to develop long term financial plans and consequently have limited detail information on how the asset is deteriorating and what levels of investment are required to maintain service levels.

An importance piece of work which the ALGA have commissioned is "the  National State of the Assets Report " in order to gather more accurate AM data is a survey of the condition of all Council's road assets so  that they are able to report  on the overall state of the nation's road assets which details of the stage 1 pilot undertaken by 55 Council's were published at the Congress. This  is something we did have a good handle on in UK  until fairly recently but since the ending of the requirement for Council's report on the condition of  the unclassified road network and footways we no longer are able to report on the overall condition of our total highway infrastructure.

Australian local councils are also often unable to retain adequate technical expertise to effectively manage their road networks so the HMEP initiatives around greater collaboration and shared services are also very relevant for these councils.

It will be interesting now to see how many hits we get from down under on the HMEP web-site!

Matthew Lugg OBE

HMEP Advocate

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Lead Engineer [Development]

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council
£40,760 - £41,675 per annum
Looking for an exciting new opportunity? Join us in Knowsley’s Major Development Team! Knowsley (Metropolitan borough), Merseyside
Recuriter: Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Principal Engineer [Development]

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council
£34,788 - £35,934 per annum
Looking for an exciting new opportunity? Join us in Knowsley’s Major Development Team! Knowsley (Metropolitan borough), Merseyside
Recuriter: Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Director of Neighbourhoods

Havering London Borough Council
c.£138,000
As Director of Neighbourhoods, you will provide strategic leadership for a full range of regulatory and non-regulatory services Romford, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Havering London Borough Council

Director of Economic Development & Planning

Wiltshire Council
£99,856 - £110,084 per annum
In this role you will have a key role in growing the local economy Wiltshire
Recuriter: Wiltshire Council

Executive Officer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£24,660 - £31,764
A new opportunity has arisen for an Executive Officer to join The Environment and Community Services Directorate Richmond upon Thames, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Director, Governance and Improvement

City of York Council
£87,623 to £97,149
We are looking for an exceptional individual to be appointed to the position of Director of Governance and Improvement. York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Chief Fire Officer

West Sussex County Council
Competitive Salary plus Financial Support for Recruitment and Retention
We are looking for an exceptional individual who can lead our Fire & Rescue Service Chichester, West Sussex
Recuriter: West Sussex County Council

Inspector / Senior Inspector

City of Bradford MDC
£21,166 - £31,371 pa
This is an opportunity to join the Highway Maintenance team who have responsibility for maintenance of around 2,000km of adopted road network. Bradford, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of Bradford MDC

Traffic Management Operative/Foreman

Balfour Beatty
Competitive
Are you a Traffic Management Operative/Foreman with Highspeed (12AB) Qualifications, looking for a new and exciting opportunity? If so read on..... Leatherhead, Surrey
Recuriter: Balfour Beatty

Senior Team Leader

Redbridge London Borough Council
£35,992 to £38,994 per annum inclusive
Looking for individuals with initiative, evidence of experience in managing a street cleansing service and motivating... Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Road Safety Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£21,589 - £31,371
We are looking for a candidate who can participate in developing and delivering technically sound highway engineering solutions. Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Information Management Officer x 2 Jobs

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£24,799 - £26,317
Looking for better and smarter ways to operate and you will play a key role working across a broad range of service... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Graduate Engineer

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£24,313 - £28,785 per annum
This is an exciting new opportunity in the Highway Services team to play a pivotal role in creating a safe and... Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

School Crossing Patrol

Brent Council
£21,591 - £22,377 p.a. inc. pro rata.
Looking for someone that is friendly, has great communication skills and enjoys working with children. Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Engineer (Highway Design)

Darlington Borough Council
£31,371 - £33,799
Looking to employ an experienced person within the Highway Design team to meet the challenge of enabling development... Darlington, Durham
Recuriter: Darlington Borough Council

Project Manager – Major Maintenance and Infrastructure Projects 

Liverpool City Council
£42,683 - £47,491 
The successful candidate will ensure that effective procurement and delivery of highways maintenance and improvement. Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Council

Green Space Development Manager

Camden London Borough Council
£45,504 - £52,786
The successful candidate will join a dynamic, multi-disciplinary team and contribute to our commitment to deliver for... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Green Space Project Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£40,829 - £47,360
The successful candidate will join a dynamic, multi-disciplinary team and contribute to our commitment to deliver for the people of Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Senior Principal Planning Officer - Fixed Term

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£39.774 - £42.684
Looking for key members of the team that will be instrumental in transforming the Borough and opportunities available for residents.  Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Career Grade Planner

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£27228 - £36711
In this role you will deal primarily with small-scale planning applications covering a wide range of planning issues. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich