Before the Federal election, news sites and newspapers were awash with the latest and greatest infrastructure projects that would be undertaken by the newly elected government. We’ve also seen the development of the infrastructure prime minister and the proposal for a 15-year infrastructure plan of national projects; but can we justify a plan with no provisions for asset renewals?
The depreciation of Commonwealth, State and Local Government owned assets generally cost $18 billion in renewals to maintain an optimum level of functionality. According to the Australian Asset Management Collaborative Group, this demonstrates that “asset maintenance is therefore clearly a key strategic function that must be properly planned and managed. At present there is no nationally accepted regime for condition auditing and maintenance planning. Asset planning and management is a critical issue for the public sector at all levels of Government.”
Most of the major infrastructure we use today was built in the 1960’s and levels of depreciation impact on service quality and productivity. Being able to assess the condition of an asset through a systematic method that produces consistent and relevant information on an asset is not legally required, or covered by Commonwealth and State initiatives.
This becomes an issue when major infrastructure that is part of a greater network fails. Transport infrastructure can’t work if there is a burst water main or a power outage; so the need for a national asset management standard scheme will also need to integrate the needs of each industry and the challenges they are facing.
According to engineer Siva Sivapragasam, it’s important to include the life-cycle costs into the early construction phases.
“When construction of a new building is underway, generally the life cycle costs are overlooked”
“The introduction of asset management systems and proactive maintenance programs can assist asset custodians to be better prepared for any long term issues.”
Currently, the International Standards Organisation (ISO) is developing the ISO 55000 Series of Standards for Asset Management. These are expected to be available to the public by 2014, but Informa is lucky to be hosting the chair of the National Asset Management Strategy Australia, Peter Way, who will be discussing the new ISO 55000 standards suite and how it will impact asset custodians in Australia.
For more information on the Asset Management & Maintenance 2013 conference please follow this link. This event will be hosting the leading thinkers in the asset management industry including Professor Robyn Keast of the Australian Asset Management Collabortative Group, Mark Jordan of the Queensland Asset Management Council and key industry representatives from companies such as UMS Group, Interfleet Technology and Powerlink.