Archive for June 2nd, 2011

Project Planning and Delivery Solutions for Sustainable Communities was the focus for the IPWEAvic 2011 conference held on 11 and 12 May 2011 at Melbourne and Olympic Park. The Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Robert Doyle opened the conference encouraging public works practitioners to find solutions to the infrastructure problems in our communities and reminding us that we are the ones with the solutions to infrastructure problems. He stated that Population Growth is the biggest issue faced by the public works sector and it is the public works engineers that will find the infrastructure solutions required. He also shared some recent research figures that showed the cost of infrastructure to service residences in new growth areas is higher than the cost of infrastructure upgrade needed to service new residences in the inner city area. He finished with an example of inappropriate infrastructure provision that did not properly allow for the social fit of the infrastructure within the community.

A lively session on leadership in public works was presented by CEO City of Greater Dandenong, John Bennie, Cr Catherine Dale, CEO City of Boroondara and John Truman, National President IPWEA. John Bennie also stated that the elected representatives will look to the public works practitioner for solutions to infrastructure problems. He reminded us that the large projects may be impressive but it is the smaller projects such as playgrounds which must be maintained and delivered in accordance with the community expectations. John’s tips included:

  • It’s the outcome that matters most
  • Never hold professional jealousies
  • Grow on the basis of ‘team achievement’
  • Manage upwards – carry a bike pump!
  • Apply the 1% rule to Capex – to protect the 99%!
  • Contribute your skills, knowledge, experience – make a decision rather than do nothing
  • Get out of the municipality – open your eyes and ears to other ideas

John Truman introduced the delegates to his concept of a “wicked project”, one that has political or stakeholder obstacles rendering a simple technical solution impractical. A site tour of Melbourne and Olympic Park was offered to delegates at the conclusion of the first day.

The second day opening plenary session gave delegates an international perspective in project planning and delivery with Richard Kirby flying in from New Zealand. Professor Rob Adams complemented the Lord Mayors address of the day before explain the key elements in the development of a capital city and explaining outcomes for sustainable urban design.

Delegates explored project planning. Capital works planning and funding, project delivery techniques and partnerships, contract administration and project risk management and project consultation as well as gaining tips on attracting and keeping the best employees.

The final plenary gave delegates a better understanding of the activities of the NGO Engineers without Borders.

Congratulations to Roland Rozario who won the ebook reader prize available to those who registered at the conference before 8th April 2011.

The conference was run by IPWEAvic and supported by Engineers Australia, MAV and CCF and held in conjunction with MAV Local Government Asset Management Conference. Thankyou to the dedicated Conference Committee lead by Geoff Glynn, Conference Chair and supported by Geoff Barrow, Vicki Shelton, Anne Gibbs and Jacqui Muir from the Conference Manager. Thankyou to our Gold sponsors McArthur and US utility services, our Silver sponsors VicRoads and Manheim and to all the exhibitors. Thanks you to all those who took the time to provide feedback on the conference. Feedback suggests this has been one of the most successful conferences held over the past few years.

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