Council to further improve asset management

Ipswich City Council is looking at how it manages each of the things it owns – roads, bridges, buildings, footpaths, parks, playground equipment, sports facilities, stormwater drains and any other physical asset.

The review is part of an 18-project reform program to sharpen the way Ipswich City Council manages and delivers the work its 1200 staff does for the community.

“It’s our mission to become an exemplar council which others can turn to for best-practice experience,” interim administrator Greg Chemello said.

“We’re already seeing signs of this happening in a number of areas.”

The asset management project is one of the easier projects on the council’s current agenda, according to Mr Chemello.

He said asset management was one function of Ipswich City Council that was already at a high standard.

“Asset management is is all about value for money for Ipswich ratepayers,” he said. “We want to be sure we’re spending money wisely to get the best results for the community.

He said this involved making the right decision at the right time for the maintenance and replacement of council’s physical assets.

“Footpaths are a great example,” Mr Chemello said.

“It’s no good leaving a decaying footpath to further decline and become unsafe.  It’s also not right deciding to replace a bad footpath with a new footpath if that’s not the right solution. Nor replacing a footpath that actually has a more usable life.

“Rather, we want to be looking at how we can build infrastructure which is fit for purpose, and maintain these assets to a good standard which lasts longer into the future.

“It is also important that council doesn’t ‘gold plate’ infrastructure.”  

Council’s acting chief executive officer Charlie Dill will return to his substantive role as chief operating officer of Infrastructure Services when new CEO David Farmer starts on February 4.

Mr Dill will oversee the asset management project, and said he was keen to look at ways of making processes even more transparent and objective than they are now.

“We’re proud of the way we manage this city’s assets,” Mr Dill said.

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