Swan Shire goes strategic

Western Australia's Shire of Swan has embarked upon an ambitious two year plan for the implementation of strategic asset management. Driving the push to a more strategic approach is the need for the cost effective delivery of services and facilities based on changing community needs and expectations.

The Shire's 'Strategic Application of Asset Management' Manual provides a modular approach to implementing best asset management practice. It addresses the following issues.

  • Asset acquisition
  • Asset operations
  • Asset disposal
  • Whole of life costing
  • Risk management
  • Strategic decision making

Chief Executive Officer, Eric Lumsden, and Executive Manager Strategic Services, Shelley Pike, have led the organisation in the development of the plan, while the Shire's management executive have committed to an incremental approach to its implementation. This initiative is part of a rigorous change agenda currently underway at Swan and is linked with the purchaser-provider model currently under consideration as Council clarifies its future business direction.

IMEA's Asset Management Handbook and the requirements of AAS27 have been considered and applied as the organisation moves from the traditional operational approach to asset management. Key Council personnel and external consultants developed a structured and systematic approach to asset management.

The plan was commended at recent Asset Management International Excellence Awards and stands the approach in good stead. Implementation commenced with the identification and valuation of the Shire's freehold and vested land holdings along with all associated improvements including pumps, reticulation, carparks, roads, play equipment, lakes, and so forth.

Swan Shire appointed management and engineering consulting firm Estill and Associates Pty Ltd, in conjunction with the Valuer General's Office, to work closely with Council staff to complete the task. A total of over 220 freehold and 280 vested properties were identified and valued along with Shire owned improvements in just six weeks.

The Shire's innovative approach has brought public and private sector expertise together in a way that will ensure skills and knowledge are retained by Council staff. Action to further implement the plan is continuing with Estill providing support over the next six months as Swan Shire moves closer to its goal of best practice in strategic asset management.

For further information contact Peter Schifferli, Manager Asset Planning Services, on (08) 9274 9809 or email on swnasset@iinet.net.au