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Media releases

Posted on: 16 February, 2015

Council leading the way nationally and internationally on asset management

Whitsunday Regional Council Director of Corporate Services Graham Jarvis has been asked to
present a case study of Council’s improvements in asset management at the 2015 Assetic User
Conference, in Melbourne February on 26-27th.

Mayor Jenny Whitney said the invitation by the General Manager of Assetic for our Director to
deliver a presentation on “Financial Recovery Using Long-Term Asset Management” is a credit to both the Director and other staff within Council and recognises the good work being done in our asset management area.

“Through the Directors improvements in asset management over the last two year we are
delivering as a Council to reduce the cost of doing business and keeping the burden on ratepayers as low as possible,” she said.

“Previous poor decisions on asset renewals and poor asset planning are key reasons why Council finds itself in debt today.

“Today, Whitsunday Regional Council is being recognised as leading the way both nationally and internationally on asset management and congratulations must go to Graham and his team for delivering good administration and financial sustainability for our ratepayers,” she said.

Assetic’s General Manager Ashay Prabhu said it is extremely commendable that Whitsunday
Regional Council has turned around its asset management.

“Other local governments across the nation need to know what Whitsundays are doing, it is a real testimony to Whitsunday’s credentials, both the Councillors and the staff,” he said.

“As an independent peer reviewer, with 150 plus clients on our books in Australia and New
Zealand, and based on real life experience, Whitsundays is now one of the handful, and I mean a handful, that have one of the country's best real asset registers.

“In 2008 when I got involved with maturity assessment of Whitsunday Regional Council there was very little, if any, hope of good practice asset management.

“Over the last two years the Whitsunday’s team have really turned this around and nationally it is a monumental achievement.

“At the conference we will have international interest keen to hear what Whitsunday has done and is continuing to do. It would not surprise me if the international visitors wanted to use Whitsunday’s as a case study when they return from the Conference.

“The key to all this is that the Council maintains it assets at the lowest cost to the community, while meeting the current and future needs of the community. It may sound simple, but every local government in Australia and more broadly internationally, struggles to do what Whitsundays is doing.”

Whitsunday Regional Council’s Director of Corporate Services Graham Jarvis said what Council
has achieved so far is through hard work and a disciplined approach to managing the community’s assets at the lowest cost to the ratepayer.

“Given Council’s level of debt we cannot borrow more money to renew or upgrade our assets,” he said.

“Therefore, we need to ensure we operate and maintain the community’s assets the best we can to avoid unnecessary renewals while maintaining the service levels the community expects.

“We can reduce the cost to ratepayers if we can avoid unnecessary capital renewals. The key is a maintenance system that prevents early deterioration and appropriate treatment where defects are identified.

“Through much hard work we are improving our planning for future renewals and upgrades so that when we need to replace assets they are well planned in advance and identified in our long term financial plan.

“It is important to note that the Mayor and Councillors are leading the way on this new process,
and it is imperative they have the best information available to them to make decisions.

“It is not one individual, but rather the councillor and management team working together to deliver what is now being recognised as leading practice in local government.

“Given our community owns over $1.3 billion in assets, and each year $18 million of the assets are used up, it should be no surprise why Council is taking it so seriously.

“The challenge is to ensure we maintain the asset base sustainably so that we can continue to
provide services to the community for today and future generations.”

Ends

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For media enquiries, contact:
Kate Adams, Communications Manager
Phone: 07 4945 0614, 0427 458 369 or Email: kate.adams@whitsundayrc.qld.gov.au

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