Inconsistency between council engineering standards has led to greater burden on business and increased time and cost in the delivery of civil infrastructure. To address this, an Infrastructure Design Manual (IDM) has been created to harmonise civil construction standards and is now being adopted by regional councils across Victoria. The standards also provide the opportunity for councils to share knowledge, costs and risks of maintaining engineering standards. With Victorian local government spending $1 billion annually on civil works and the private sector spending an additional $1.8 billion, a shared set of standards can help to free up millions of dollars. To date, 28 regional councils are either using or currently adopting the standards, with more councils expected to join in the coming months.

Claude Cullino, CEO of Civil Contractors Federation, urged councils to adopt the IDM. “The IDM creates greater certainty around design and construction requirements. This will lead to more cost effective delivery of civil infrastructure for councils, and reduce the burden on the industry,” he said. “Wouldn’t it be great to drop the cost of doing business by some 3% to 5% by adopting the IDM?”

A complementary standard for metropolitan councils is also underway. Developed by Victoria’s six growth area councils, the standards will be available for adoption by all metropolitan councils in the coming months. Local Government Victoria offers participating councils assistance and training to help implement the standards, including integration into planning schemes.

The IDM is available to councils, designers and contractors at www.designmanual.com.au. For more information on the IDM or to get your council involved, contact Angelo D’Costa at Local Government Victoria on (03) 9651 7051 or angelo.d’costa@dpcd.vic.gov.au.

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