Regional adaptation of AUS-SPEC

In Queensland’s north, the WHaMB Regional Organisation of Councils is developing new, region specific contract documentation to introduce as a set of codes for future subdivision development under the State’s 1997 Integrated Planning Act. As a basis for the documentation, officers of the City of Mackay, which is heading up the project, are using Queensland’s adaptations of the suite of national AUS-SPEC products. Council has already introduced AUS-SPEC #3 (Standard Contract Documents) in its own operations.

Mackay’s initial role in the regional project is to carry out background research and to identify any local issues needing to be addressed by the documentation. The other seven Councils in the region have been invited to participate in the project. According to Dan Coonan, Mackay’s Manager Development and Subdivisional Services, the idea is to create a suite of documents of ‘regional relevance’”.

“We’ve held a number of workshops with the other Councils to review current documentation,” he said.“We’ve had a good look at what’s being done elsewhere, including around Rockhampton with that region’s Capricorn Municipal Development Guidelines, which are also based on AUS-SPEC products. But there are some issues of specific relevance to our region, so we’re taking a fresh approach.” In undertaking this project, Dan Coonan expects Council’s work will also advance the application of AUS-SPEC documentation in Queensland generally.

The City of Mackay will provide the Institute Public Works Engineering Australia /Sinclair Knight Mertz joint venture administering AUS-SPEC with some constructive input for consideration in the State’s next documentation review.

“We believe there are currently a few inconsistencies between the documents and specifications in Queensland’s adaptation of AUS-SPEC,” Dan Coonan said. “Namely relating to pavement design methodology and pavement material specifications so we’re addressing that and hope our deliberations will benefit the many other Queensland Councils using AUS-SPEC.”

Funding for the WHaMB Regional Organisation of Councils project was received from the Federal Government’s Local Government Incentives Program, administered by the Department of Transport and Regional Services.

For further information contact Dan Coonan on (07) 4968 4476.