Archive for March, 2014

A full day event looking at
  • challenges and insights of managing parks in a changing climate,
  • how to get your community engaged in gardens and reserve management,
  • contract management and operational issues,
  • key issues in managing high profile gardens considering two case studies,
  • challenges and insights of managing parks and reserves in a regional city.

Hosted in the Nottinghill Hall located just beside the City of Monash Depot.  Lunch, morning and afternoon tea included.

Sponsored by Arborgreen, Citygreen.
Download registration brochure and program details here
8:30 – 9:00 Registration
9:00 – 9:10 Welcome
9:10 – 10:00 Community Gardens means Community Engagement

Lucas Skelton – Parks Coordinator – Monash City Council

       How do you get your community engaged in Gardens and Reserve Management?

10:00 – 10:45 Challenges of Managing Parks in a Changing Climate

Mark Collins – Consultant ( former CEO UMS)

       How do we cope with the extremes of weather?

       What has happened to the Winter slow down?

       How can we manage these changing conditions?

10:45 – 11:00 Morning Tea
11:00 – 12:00 Parks – Operations Management

Mike Hoy – Executive Manager, Grounds and Open Space

       Getting down to business

       Contract Management and operational issues

       Staff retention, management and resource planning

12:00 – 12:30 ROUND TABLE:

Workshop  Session

Facilitated by morning session speakers

       What are your key issues?

       Identify and prioritise risks and constraints

12:30 – 12:45 Sponsor Presentation – Aborgreen , Citygreen

 Aborgreen is a supplier of Landscape Products to the industry and distributor of Citygreen brand

12:45 – 1:30 Lunch
1:30 – 2:15 Feature Gardens Management

Key issues in managing High Profile Gardens

John Arnott – Royal Botanic Gardens – Cranbourne

       Some  insights into how RBG approaches their high profile Gardens Development and Management

2:15 – 3:00 Heritage Gardens and Regional Centre Parks Management

Simon Harrison – Manager of Parks and Reserves, City of Greater Bendigo

       The challenges of managing  Parks and Reserves in a Regional City

3:00 – 3:30 Afternoon Tea
3:30 – 4:45 Seminar Summary –

Feedback from Round Table session

4:45 Conference Close

IPWEAvic Young IPWEAvic Convenor, Kurt Pitts writes:

A successful night was held on 30 January for the Young IPWEA launch event at La Di Da in Melbourne. The event was sponsored by ARRB Group and received positive feedback from all who attended. Steve Bell, an experienced mountaineer and adventurer was the guest speaker for the night. Steve provided a very interesting talk and had the audience captivated while he described stories of his mountaineering adventures. The group enjoyed finger food and a few drinks while Steve shared his experiences.

A summary of his main points are below:

  • Grew up in Devon on the south coast of England where a large amount of outdoor rock climbing exists
  • Started rock climbing at the age of 16
  • Found his true passion in climbing
  • Noted a picture of Mt Arapiles in Victoria and how much he wanted to climb this famous mountain as it was very well known in the rock climbing world.
  • Started climbing many First Ascents on sea cliffs around Devon
  • From here, he asked himself “Where can I get the next thrill?”
  • This is where he “heard the mountains calling” and decided to get into mountaineering
  • He made a few ascents and then teamed up with some fellow mountaineers and climbed the north face of the Matterhorn in the Pennine Alps between Switzerland and Italy while they were still teenagers
  • It was at this time that he had a large fall which resulted in a rethink.
  • He sat back and thought “I’m human, I might be killed” where the fear of death had not previously crossed his mind. Quite a few friends had already been killed.
  • Following this, he “wised up at the ripe old age of 20”
  • Later, he teamed up with a more experienced climber, a 30 year old, to attempt to climb the north face of the Eiger in Switzerland
  • The attempt was made in winter, only the second party to ever attempt the ascent in winter
  • The two spent 7 nights on the face, including one in a snow cave they made. They later found out that their snow cave was constructed in the exact location of a previous death in another snow cave and was dubbed the ‘death cave’
  • The next step up – The Himalayas. He spent two months there and hated it. This was a major turning point. He felt he needed more meaning. “Climbing mountains is great for yourself, but what does it do for others?”
  • He took an opportunity with the British Antarctic Survey and spent 9 months in Antarctica
  • Following this, the British Commandos (Marines) were looking for volunteers to go to Mount Everest, so he had a stint in the military for four years.
  • Part of his military work involved setting up Camp 7 (last camp) on Everest, but he did not get the opportunity to reach the summit.
  • He found the altitude made him very lethargic at 8,000 metres
  • He realised he’d had enough and it was time to get off the mountain when he spilled a fresh one litre bottle of urine (pee bottle) all over the inside of the tent which instantly froze.
  • Following this work, and itching to get to the summit of Everest, he set up the first ever commercial expedition to the summit of Everest in 1993, and so started his company Jagged Globe.
  • Although relatively cheap to join an expedition at the time, the cost is now approximately $50,000 to $60,000 per person
  • Steve described that getting to Base Camp is very easy, but within hours of leaving Base Camp, massive chasms needed to be crossed by carefully placed ladders and the climbing got more difficult
  • “Choose your attitude each morning – it makes a huge difference in what you will achieve”
  • Steve noted that one of the Sherpa’s travelling with the group stayed overnight on top of Everest without oxygen on a previous trip, simply to say he was the first to do so. Sadly he died on another occasion when he went to do number twos during the night and fell down a crevasse.
  • Once atop the south summit, there was a fantastic view of the northern summit ridge, the weather was fantastic. Steve noted that these days, there would be a large queue of people walking up the ridge.
  • It was interesting to note the current age record for climbing Everest is 78 years old
  • Steve also mentioned that more people die coming down the mountain than going up, an approximate death rate of one in ten people.
  • After Everest, Steve decided that it would be nice to climb the highest point on each continent.
  • He started with Carstensz Pyramid (Puncak Jaya) in West Papua and claimed this as the Australia/Pacific’s highest point, as Australia’s Mt Kosciuszko is no real challenge.
  • He followed this by returning to Antarctica to climb Mt Vinson, and completing the other continents, noting his favourite was North America – Mt McKinley in Alaska.
  • He noted there is often no view when climbing mountains, due to regular white-outs. Mountaineers don’t climb for the view, although it is a pleasant reward.
  • Once accomplished, he had a reality check, thinking of his family and his three kids, and the enormous amount of friends and acquaintances who had died mountaineering. He decided to retire from mountaineering and spend time with his family.
  • He emigrated to Australia for a change and lived in Melbourne before moving to Natimuk in Western Victoria, just up the road from Mount Arapiles.
  • He noted he finally got to climb Mount Arapiles, and regularly visited to continue his rock climbing passion.
  • He thought he must have something else to give to the small town.
  • He heard that a local identity had been stirring the town up for some years with vague suggestions of opening a café, so Steve decided to go into partnership with him and make it happen.
  • He successfully opened the café and ran it for a number of years before selling it. It is still a landmark in Natimuk today.
  • He completed a stint working with Bear Grylls on his Man Vs Wild show and had to sign a confidentiality agreement.
  • He participated in a fictional climbing documentary – climbing Mt Olympus on Mars, the fictional highest mountain in the solar system.
  • He then returned to Melbourne, to work on a new project, where he is director of Snowflex, a year round ski field which he is bringing to Melbourne.











IPWEAvic members are invited to attend the next ITSA (Intelligent Transport Systems Australia) Business event on a complimentary basis.

A number of international guest speakers will be present giving an update developments in transport technology from around the globe.

Friday May 2nd 8:30am till 12:30pm RACV Club Melbourne

More details and to register go to


The finalists in the 2014 IPWEAvic Awards for Excellence are listed here in alphabetical order by organisation:

ARRB – Let’s Get Cracking

Banyule City Council – Stormwater Harvesting Project

Bayside City Council – Strategic Asset Management Module

Boroondara City Council – Hawthorn Arts Project

Benalla Rural City Council – Urban Growth Project

East Gippsland Shire Council – Mallacoota, Kitchen to Compost

Gannawarra Shire Council – Cohuna Aerodrome

Gannawarra Shire Council – Quambatook Weir Refurbishment & Mechanisation

Hobsons Bay City Council – Newport Gardens Early Years Centre

Loddon Shire Council – Newbridge Sports Pavilion

Loddon Shire Council – Road Infrastructure Flood Program

Loddon Shire Council – Drought Proofing Program

Maroondah City Council – Lake to Creek Project

Murrindindi Shire Council – Breakaway Bridge – Acheron

Melton City Council – Melton Library and Learning Hub

Northern Grampians Shire Council – Stawell Linkage Project

Northern Grampians Shire Council – A Model for Road Asset Management

Northern Grampians Shire Council – Infrastructure Recovery after Natural Disaster

Port Phillip City Council – Bubup Womindjeka Family & Children’s Centre

Pyrenees Shire Council – Beauford Flood Mitigation Works

Pyrenees Shire Council – Snake Valley Wastewater Collection & Treatment System

Whitehorse City Council – Aqualink Box Hill Redevelopment Project

Wyndham City Council – Wedge St Pedestrian Bridge

The Winners will be announced at a Gala Dinner to be held on Wednesday 26th March at The Hotel Windsor.  If you would like to come along you can order your dinner ticket on line at



The Trustees of MEFvic are holding a luncheon for the Awardees of the 2014 MEFvic Study Tour Scholarships.  The luncheon is to be held on Friday 25th July at the Pullman Albert Park Hotel.  More details soon

In February 2014, the Government released a new Unsolicited Proposal Guideline for welcoming proposals from the private sector to deliver a project or service which offers something genuinely unique and the best value for Victorians.

More information is available from Department of Treasury & Finance website

Take a look at the guidelines here

Hosted by the Resource and Energy Recovery Division of the Waste Management Association of Australia, the National Energy from Waste Symposium -Exploring opportunities and synergies for today and the future – will bring together Councils, government and waste managers along with the manufacturing, finance and energy industries to consider the future of the Australian waste industry and its role in the renewable energy market.

This leading-edge conference will explore opportunities for the energy from waste industry in Australia through policy and planning, investment opportunities, collaboration/ partnerships and the use of innovative practices and technologies. Participants will have the opportunity to share their expertise and knowledge, showcase their innovative ideas, learn from industry experts and network with their industry peers.

The conference will be held on 23 and 24 of July 2014 at Mantra Lorne on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. During the conference, an industry submission will be developed for presentation to the respective State and Federal Government agencies about future opportunities for this rapidly developing industry.

Go to for more information

More info here

IPWEAvic is giving away 3 reduced rate scholarships to attend the 2014 IPWEAvic Public Works Conference to be held on 26th and 27th March 2014.  Day registrations are also available.

To be eligible you need to be from a small rural shire and there needs to be at least one other delegate form your organisation attending the 2014 IPWEAvic Conference on 26th and 27th March 2014.

If you are interested in taking up this opportunity please contact the IPWEAvic office and check your eligibility.

Take a look at the conference program and registration details at the dedicated conference website



Download our IPWEAvic Conference App by searching for IPWEA in your App store now!

Looks and works great on your Apple or Android smartphone or mobile device

Download and sync it across all your devices

App1. IPWEA Events App (for the conference)

App 2.  IPWEA Mobile App (everything from our website in an App)

Blackberry, Windows, and laptop users, can also access the Conference details – just visit

The IPWEA Event App has

  • Summary Dashboard
  • Personal itinerary builder
  • Session schedule & your personal upcoming schedule
  • Speaker list, exhibitor listing and floor plan
  • Twitter feeds for #IPWEA2014 Conference
  • Take notes within the App; email the notebook back home
  • Synchronise across all your devices

SEARCH FOR IPWEA and download your IPWEA Apps NOW

Tweet to #IPWEA2014


The Productivity Commission released its Draft Report on Public Infrastructure on 13th March

Written submissions are now invited.  A public hearing is to be held at 9am on Wednesday 9th April.  Registration for this public hearing is via

To download a copy of the draft report go to this link

Volume 1 contains the Overview, Draft recommendations, findings and information requests, and Chapters 1 to 7.

Volume 2 contains Chapters 8 to 14 and appendices.

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