Archive for the ‘ News ’ Category

      IPWEA Victoria Division – New CEO Appointment


I am delighted to inform you that a decision has been made  by the Board to appoint David Hallett to the position of CEO of IPWEAvic.

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        David Hallett          Ross Goyne

David was selected from a very talented pool of 36 applicants for the position and his appointment follows a comprehensive recruitment and selection process involving the Board’s CEO recruitment panel capably supported  by CT Management’s Nicki Sportelli.


David will commence duties in mid June taking over from Bruce Douglas who has been acting in the role of CEO since December last year.


David comes to IPWEAvic with many years experience in senior roles at the  Australian Institute of Architects / Archicentre.


David held the role of General Manager, Operations (Archicentre and Ask An Architect businesses) since January 2013 so he well understands the challenges facing an industry based professional member organisation.


David has extensive experience in the areas of business integration and change management, market communications, service capability, quality and risk management, stakeholder, staff and provider engagement and I am sure you will agree that these are key attributes for us going forward.


His  key achievements include;

  • Development and implementation of an organisational Operational Improvement Project
  • Development of business Quality Management System
  • Establishment of an on-line, competency-based learning and development program
  • Establishment of a national network of Consultative Committees including Charter development
  • Development of member and consumer market communications


Prior to this role from September 2009 – December 2012, David held the role of General Manager Market and Product Development and before that Regional Manager (Victoria, SA, WA & Tasmania) with Archicentre.


David holds the qualifications of  Bachelor of Architecture with post graduate qualifications in Business Management including a Diploma of Business Management and an MBA.

David also currently sits on the Architects Registration Board and the Building Practitioners Board.


Although his background is not engineering, architecture is a very closely related profession and there is no doubt that his skill set and experience is highly relevant and comparable.

He brings a solid background in member attraction, representation and product and service development and brings clear business acumen and strategic thinking capabilities to our team.


On your behalf I welcome David to our organisation and wish him all the very best for the future.


Rate Capping

May 31, 2015 | No Comments | News


IPWEAvic and MWOAV have just completed a series of four seminar/information sessions on Rate Capping throughout regional Vic and Metro Melbourne with the final even being held at the Yan Yean Theatre in South Morang.

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Some  30 to 45  members and guests attended each of  the seminars and were provided an opportunity to express their anxieties about the possible implications of the Rate Capping

framework being developed by the ESC for the State Govt.

The following matters have been raised through the engagement process and provide the basis of the feedback to the ESC.

The final forum session held on Friday 29th May provided delegates a fantastic opportunity to hear from a range of key stakeholders  on the challenges and opportunities that this new legislative control will bring.

The take home advice from this session is for professionals to proactively engage with their councillors and through them their community to ensure that Key services are recognised and prioritised and that the assets and resources needed to deliver these services are properly identified and managed for whole of life. Clearly this new measure by the state will trigger more effort in service planning and long term financial planning and both of these management tools must be effectively integrated with Asset Management Plans.

It will be in your interests to ensure you have developed and had accepted by your council and effective asset hierarchy that matches service delivery requirements and that there is objective evidence to support service delivery specification scope and unit cost definitions.

Financial resource capping by controlling the level of rating has the potential to impact adversely on service standards so that innovative measures for funding will need to be explored and sound information provided to prevent poor decisions being made.

 Challenge Opportunity
Asset renewal gap is widening Focus on service innovation to drive use of council revenue further and increase funding available to asset renewal
Community engagement is costly and resource hungry Consider use of existing community forums to engage, focus groups.  Target the silent majority rather than the vocal minority
Community reaction to any service standards reduction Face to face engagement with community using visual aids to demonstrate impact of new standards
Community will oppose service cuts or service standard reductions Community engagement to share options & cost implications and get feedback
Cost of staff and office accommodation Review workplace flexibility and work location choices (e.g. work from home)
Cost shifting by State Government (e.g. fire levy) Push back unless cost neutrality for councils guaranteed
Council legislated obligations for local roads/lanes Review local road hierarchy and road closures and sell closed road reservations
Councils get blamed for service authority & State Government defects Place markers at site of defects naming responsible authority and giving telephone number
Councils operate non-profitable businesses Rationalise businesses that incur operating losses (e.g. art galleries)
Cr knowledge of asset management & renewal gap Cr training & demonstrate evidence of renewal gap (e.g. MAV Step program audits & data from JRA)
EBA negotiated outcomes >CPI Future negotiations must seek to ‘cap’ EBA increases at CPI or State Government capped index
Environmental control impacts on maintenance budgets Review controls to simplify maintenance tasks & reduce costs (e.g. disposal of grading scrapings to landfill rather adjacent property)
Fleet management costs Review management assumptions, changeover timing, vehicle selection, private use and own Vs hire
Growth in internal governance costs Review internal charging
Impact of reduced road maintenance funding on RMPs Face to face community engagement on proposed amended intervention levels and response times.  Compare ‘reasonableness’ of proposed amended standards within region
Infrastructure budgets traditionally easy target Councils must refocus on core activities & understand impact of maintenance under-spend on asset life (particularly roads)
Local Governments capacity to run leisure facilities profitably Review council’s community service obligation and facility standards, operating hours and costs (e.g. water authority fees have risen >>CPI)
Lack of availability of local materials State Government to fund pilot programs to develop non-standard substitute products (e.g. suppliers are increasing costs >CPI + cartage $)
Lack of community awareness of council services & expenditure Use existing council communication frameworks to share/educate the community on council’s roles and responsibilities
Lack of service cost comparisons Benchmark unit rates within region and across related industries ensuring comparison of ‘like with like’
Landfill Levy increases set by State Government >CPI Request ESC to request State Government to cap levy increase to CPI
Long term impact of reduced infrastructure spend Engage with community and revise RMP on asset management and the renewal gap
Loss of staff/corporate capacity if service standards reduced Improved service specifications, contract management and auditing (service out-sourcing)
Many councils focus on new asset delivery Shift focus to asset management and asset renewal (culture shift required)
Reducing service standards to reduce costs Community engagement to share options & cost implications
Reducing service standards may require bigger costly e/ment Carefully analyse impact of service standards changes
Regional contracts -> local job losses Engage with rural communities to understand knock-on effects (social & local economy)
Regional employment losses Engage with rural communities to understand knock-on effects (social & local economy)
Regional job losses have greater impact than metro Seek to understand rural Vs metro impacts -> specify local job % in contract documents
Revenue loss impact on financial sustainability of rural councils Develop long term financial plans (10yrs min) to assess deficit budget impacts on key financial ratios and long term financial sustainability
Rural areas suffer from significantly higher material costs MAV to demonstrate cost differentials to State Government of most commonly used maintenance materials across regions
Service cost comparisons are often difficult to make Use benchmarking to identify significant cost differences and analyse the reasons to identify continuous improvement opportunities and undertake best value service reviews
Successful community engagement Development of community engagement models and tools for use across the State
Utility cost increases outside council control Request ESC to differentiate utility authority rates for local government & cap to CPI (eg water authority fees have risen >>CPI)
Utility costs growing >> CPI Councils to be granted access to CPI indexed utility rate increases
Workload on staff if staff numbers reduced Review costing shifting to local government and explore technology opportunities (eg State funded pilot programs) (eg rural councils still recovering from recent natural disaster events)

The 22nd National Works and Engineering Conference is to be held at the Prince of Wales Showground, Holmes Road, Bendigo on 24th and 25th September 2015.

Here is an opportuntity for public works practioners:

  • to see live demonstrations of equipment,
  • visit the large product exhibition
  • participate in toolbox sessions
  • learn from technical case studies
  • listen to presentations from others
  • get the latest information on a range of technical issues from waste, road maintenance, parks improvements, capital works delivery, contract management

to take back to your organsiation.

The conference program also has entertainment with a gala dinner and a mens health breakfast session.  There is plenty of time to re equaint with old colleagues and make new connections.

This conference is a MUST for inclusion on your personal development plan.

More information and to register visit




A program of 3 Regional workshops is underway with the first event having been held at Horsham on 14th April.

These workshops are being run in conjunction with MWOAV regional meetings so there is chance to catch up with colleagues as well as contribute to the Public Works Sector feedback on the impending Rate Capping regulations that the Victorian State Government is to introduce in 2016.

Maurice Stabb is facilitating the workshops and gathering input from all those likely to be affected by the policy  who attend the workshops. This is your chance to express any concerns you have as to likely impacts on service delivery outcomes going forward.

Thee next two regional workshops will be held at

Colac on 8th May and Yarrawonga on 27th May.

A final Metro workshop and information session will then be held on 29th May at Whittlesea Civic Centre  where a number of leading industry and government speakers will share their views on the best way forward for professionals who must cope with this additional constraint on a significant budget revenue stream.

Further information on venues and specific times is available from Mandy at


IPWEAvic is set to establish a Collaborative Partnering Agreement with Professionals Australia with the Board agreeing to preparing a Heads of Agreement.

Broadly speaking this agreement will seek to enhance and add value to member services to both organisations but without any compromise to their independence or autonomy.

This move comes in response to the continuing evidence of gradual decline in Engineering Capacity in Local Government and Public Works. The agreement provides for an effective industry response to the Victorian Government’s planned Engineer Registration requirement and recognises IPWEAvic’s capacity and interest in providing ongoing professional development and training opportunities for both members and non-member sector practitioners.  Professionals Australia sees its future as a competitive state register and accreditation manager and is prepared to stand by IPWEA as a preferred CPD facilitator.

There are a range of other benefits that can flow from the Collaborative agreement and these will be assessed and where appropriate and sustainable, implemented over time. Many IPWEA members are also members of PA and there is clearly opportunity for financial benefits to flow from this alliance.

Importantly the alliance will enable the establishment of a strong voice for Public Works Professionals in the areas of advocacy for intiatives to enhance the capacity of Local Government engineering and also to provide registration and accreditation services at competitive prices to the sector.

Future opportunities may include shared back end services, joint membership and improved workplace advice and support and enhanced professional development services provision.

ROAD MANAGEMENT ACT – Regulation amendments

Vicroads is finalising the latest round of amendments to regulations to the RMAct and is in the last few days of seeking public comment on the proposed changes. Details of the change proposals are available on Vicroads website ( Acts and Regulations).

Most significant for IPWEA Members is the change to remove the requirement for road authorities ( including councils)  to seek permission to undertake minor works or to have to serve notices in regard to minor works. This removes the requirement to pay any fees for this activities as well. It should be noted that private parties ( companies etc including contractors undertaking private works) are not exempt and will still have to make application for permission , pay fees and notify of intention to undertake work. These fees will also be indexed.






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A selection of photos from the conference including award winners


IPWEAvic Seminar

Intelligent Asset Management


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Date:                      Wednesday 25th February 2015 (Full Day)

Location:               Manningham Function Centre

Time Draft Schedule – Intelligent Asset Management
8:30 – 9:00 Registration
9:00 – 9:10 Welcome
9:10 – 9:40 OPENING ADDRESSPeter Way PSM, Chair NAMS.AU, IPWEA Australasia

  • Determining Service Levels and translating into Plans
  • Tools and Resources for the AM Journey
  • Utilising ISO 55000 for continuous improvement
9:40 – 10.15 Integrated Service and Asset PlanningRaeph Cumming, Social Infrastructure Planner, Moorabool Shire Council

  • Linking Corporate planning and service planning
  • Working and allying with Assets Managers on integrated service and asset planning.
10:15 – 10:30 Morning Tea
10:30 – 11:00 Rural asset management and its challengesRobert Ladd, Manager Engineering, Waste Operations & Contracts, Pyrenees Shire Council

  • Working with limited resources
  • Smarter ways of working
  • Collaborating with neighbours councils and intern-council relationships
11:00 – 11:30 Balancing Act

  • Balancing urban and non-urban environments
  • Coping with different standards, demands and needs Dot points
11:30 – 12.00 Technology for Asset ManagementKim Quach, GIS coordinator, City of Whittlesea

  • Successful GIS system to support Asset Management Processes
  • How they interact with other council systems to enhance customer service outcomes
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch
  Café Workshop
1:00 – 1:45 Intelligent Asset ManagementPhillip Plumb, Manager Horticultural Services, Monash City CouncilJonathon Merrett, Facilities & Buildings Asset Planner, City of Greater Dandenong

  • Work practices and case studies to create / promote discussion
  • Technologies
  • Case studies in the use of technology
  • Issues around data capture
  • Internal and external resources
  • Role and responsibilities
1:45 – 3:15 Questions around

  • Functionality
  • User friendly
  • Monitoring
  • 360 degree reporting
  • Achieving objectives
  • Asset effectiveness and meeting Community expectations
3:15 – 3:30 Conference Summary
  Networking & Afternoon Tea


Dear Member

Wed 22nd April has been set for the next Roundtable on Rate Pegging and is being   facilitated by the CCIA ( of which IPWEA Vic is a member).



  • On the basis of work undertaken to date, the following is the draft of the Alliance’s overarching policy position:


The Alliance completely accepts that a democratically elected government has every right to implement it policies and the Alliance stands ready to assist the Government to achieve its policy objectives in the best of all Victorians from the perspective of economic development, job creation, housing affordability, efficient project delivery and regional sustainability.


In this context, the Alliance believes that it is imperative that the Government engages effectively with the Alliance in the course of finalising plans for the implementation of the Government’s infrastructure and rate pegging policies.


The priority areas for the Alliance are:

  1. The need for a definitive and credible pipeline of projects across all government agencies, integrated to ensure minimal lumpiness. 
  2. Reducing the potential for the inevitable diminution of capital or major maintenance works on civil infrastructure as a consequence of rate pegging.  
  3. A spread of construction works to accommodate all classes of the industry, especially the SMEs. 
  4. A structured and formalised program (including Government funded pilot projects) aimed at seriously pursuing the efficient delivery of projects, via-a-vis the recommendations from the two Ernst and Young Reports and VCEC Reports commissioned by the previous State and Federal Governments. 
  5. Addressing red-tape issues which impede the efficient delivery of civil projects. 
  6. Ensuring that SMEs get paid in a timely manner by Government agencies, water companies, councils and Tier 1 contractors who are delivering major projects.


For you information


Bruce Douglas

Acting CEO IPWEA Vic

Premier Daniel Andrews and Treasurer Tim Pallas met with a group of 30 key engineering professionals last Thursday 18th Dec to discuss ways that the engineering professional sector could assist the government in delivery its Projects 10,000 Infrastructure strategy over the coming 8 years. IPWEAvic was invited to attend and Bruce Douglas Acting CEO stood in for President Ross Goyne.

The Treasurer welcomed delegates and outlined the significant challenges the  new government will face in delivering its promised program.

Not the least of these challenges is convincing the Federal Govt that it should redirect its $1.5b contribution ( originally for East-West link) to a diverse range of infrastructure projects including 50 rail level crossing removal projects, the Western Distributor, Melbourne Metro rail priority upgrades, $1b in metro arterial upgrades, $1bn in Regional Arterial upgrades and a range of projects in the Education and Health sectors.

Most of these projects remain to be properly scoped and documented and all must still go through the various permits and approvals processes before they are put to tender and constructed.

The key element of the forum was a jointly prepared discussion paper, presented by Professionals Australia and endorsed  by all present and this highlighted a number of elements where improvements can be made by Govt in the delivery model, to avoid what has been sadly evident with past intense infrastructure delivery programs and which has resulted in close to 20% of program value being wasted.

The main points cover;

1   The Government ( and Local Government) must re-establish its capacity as an informed and competent purchaser, this extends to include the professional capacity of these agencies as effective and capable project clients and stop the ill-informed practice of total risk transfer in  project delivery as this has lead to very high risk pricing elements in tender responses being provided by the private sector.

2  Implement Projects Victoria quickly so that there is effective oversight and control of the infrastructure program delivery. Through this mechanism establish competent auditing and procurement capacity.

3   Move quickly to encourage the re-establishment of competent engineering skills in the infrastructure  construction and management sectors, covering both the private sector and state and local government. A strong statement of project pipeline commitments will give all parties confidence to invest in workforce development, up-skilling and retention.

4   Ensure all projects have a proper allocation of resources to properly address the life-cycle costs of their creation and operation, in other words, properly recognise and value the Asset Management requirements of these new and upgrade projects.

5   Commit to the Best Value principles and encourage the most appropriate procurement model for the various projects having regard to their risk profiles. Use standard contractual terms so that time does not continue to be wasted in endless meetings debating and  renegotiating what should constitute core contractual elements.

6   Develop new opportunities for project funding so that the backlog of much needed public infrastructure projects can be effectively addressed and so that industry can build confidence in investing in company growth.

The forum concluded with the strong recommendation that an Engineering Advisory Panel be established to assist govt in quickly  establishing the Projects Victoria delivery model and that as part of this, a central point of access and advocacy be put in place to enable the engineering sector to be able to more effectively connect with government on all key elements of infrastructure delivery, that this position should be a Chief Engineer Role, similar to the Chief Scientist and Chief Health Officer positions.

IPWEA put the view that Local Government is a key player in the effective delivery of all major infrastructure projects and that Public Works Professionals are fundamentally important to successful outcomes and so must be encouraged to strive for and sustain high levels of professional competence  and strong networks because in so doing, will remain well placed to prevent or overcome many of the likely roadblocks to effective infrastructure program delivery.

A number of members contributed their thoughts on infrastructure program delivery priorities to the Acting CEO and these ideas were taken to the forum and presented through the discussion process, thankyou to all those who contributed their ideas.

Bruce Douglas – Acting CEO

Transport Infrastructure Product Evaluation Scheme (TIPES)

The ARRB Group is pleased to introduce ‘TIPES’ the Transport Infrastructure Product Evaluation Scheme into the Australian road sector. TIPES is a process aimed at providing an independent fit-for-purpose assessment of innovative road construction products such as; non-traditional stabilizers, ultra-thin surfacing products, pothole fillers, etc. It is intended for the evaluation of products that fall outside the scope of established standards and specifications.

Internationally, there are various examples of successful national technical assessment schemes for road construction products. Such schemes provide road agencies with objective assessments of product performance, while providing the proponents of innovative products with a mechanism to gain market acceptance.

TIPES was originally developed by the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads. ARRB took over administration of the TIPES process with the objective to develop a single national product evaluation scheme, thus reducing the need for separate evaluations of an applicant’s product for multiple agencies. Although other road agencies have operated their own approval schemes for particular applications, TIPES is now a national scheme that has been endorsed by all Australian state and territory road agencies. It has also gained support from the Queensland Local Roads Alliance, Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) and Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia Queensland (IPWEA QLD).

“The aim of TIPES is the establishment of a national process for all Australian state and territory road agencies to follow when adopting new technology, thus creating a pool of approved products for all agencies to use.” says Peter Damen General Manager of Research and Consulting at ARRB GROUP. “In doing this we can have a safe and reliable point of reference as well as a standardisation of processes administered by one independent body”.

In addition to road construction products, ARRB has been developing other areas of product evaluation in particular road traffic devices and intelligent transport systems, with the aim of increasing the scope of TIPES. Considerable work has been undertaken by ARRB on decision-support guidelines and processes for the TIPES scheme.

Local governments are encouraged to ask prospective suppliers to provide a TIPES certificate of registration where a new or substantially modified product is being considered for use.  Likewise, product developers are being encouraged to seek an assessment of their products through TIPES.

For further information, refer to or contact Gerard McAllister at ARRB (

The Building Amendment (Additional New Residential Zones) Regulations 2014 where made, gazetted and commenced on 30 October 2014.  Download amendment HERE

The Amendment continues the implementation of the new residential zones by aligning the building approval system with planning schemes containing varied height and siting provisions for the construction of single dwellings on an allotment.

Specifically, Schedule 5 to the Building Regulations 2006 has been updated to reflect approved planning scheme amendments Ararat C33, Ballarat C177, Cardinia C187, Darebin C144, Greater Shepparton C173, Kingston C150, LaTrobe C84, Moorabool C72, Mornington Peninsula C179, Southern GrampiansC34 and Whitehorse C160.

To ensure consistency between the planning permit and building approvals systems in relation to height limits, Schedule 5 has also been updated to reference the Residential Growth Zone (RGZ) for all planning schemes in which that zone it has been applied.

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