A Message from the Managing Director

December 2023

Michael Courtney
Managing Director

Sustainable Council Program

CT Management Group has developed its Sustainable Council Program to integrate the efforts of service planning, asset management and ensure Council’s levels of service are optimised, meet future demand and are financially sustainable.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a necessary shift away from the pure technical challenges of managing assets, to how to best engage stakeholders and decision-makers.

This has been the goal of the legislative requirement for Asset Plans in Victoria, with the Auditor Generals in NSW, and quite recently Queensland, calling for Local Government to develop an integrated approach to Asset Management in their jurisdictions.

Asset management can be quite complex, and the challenge is to be able to simplify plans by presenting relevant headline indicators that engage communities in a compelling conversation.

It matters little how many high-quality technical documents Council has — without proper stakeholder engagement, it’s impossible for Council to achieve its Asset Management objectives.

Harnessing the value of asset related information to improve service levels cost effectively to the community is the end game.

Asset Managers need to focus on stakeholder and customer priorities by providing evidence-based planning recommendations that address community needs.

To ensure that Asset Management practices and recommendations are adequately aligned with needs of the community, it is imperative that Council commence from the position of assets existing to provide services.

A common stumbling block for Councils is Service Planning being completed in isolation from Asset Management Plans.

Service Planning relies on asset managers’ awareness and consideration of service needs.

Planning in isolation results in in Asset Management Plans and investment decisions potentially being made in conflict with Service Plans.

Equally remote Service Planning not responding to financial sustainability and asset management constraints is equally ineffective leading to Council possibly being unable to fulfill its promises.

While Service Planning sets the foundation and basis on which assets exist to provide the service, it is equally important that Service Plans take account of and respond to the reality of asset and financial constraints.

However, an integrated planning approach that ensures service, asset, and financial requirements are considered concurrently does result in a Service Plan and investment program that delivers to stakeholders sustainability.

It is essential that Service Planners, Asset Managers, and finance professionals are harmonized in their contributions to asset investment and service level decisions.

A meaningful way to coordinate this is by deliberating service level options, asset interventions, and financial constraints into a single product platform.

CT Management Group through its:

  • Service Planning Platform
  • Long Term Financial Plan,
  • Capital Works Evaluator and
  • Asset Renewal Demand Indicator

provides the necessary tools, and capacity to engage stakeholders, to harmonise the investment in services and assets in a sustainable framework.

These tools are accompanied with methodologies to maximise and enhance the journey to a financially sustainable Council.

By joining the CT Management journey, alternative investment options and service level trade-offs can be directly considered in the context of future service-level and demand impacts ,risk mitigation to achieve the goal of sustainable services that are financially sustainable.

The result is a transparent and integrated service, asset, and financial planning process that can identify opportunities for unlocking hidden capital, supporting innovation, mitigating risk, and providing services in an efficient and financially sustainable manner.

Risk is also fundamental consideration in sustainable Asset Management practices.

At an operational level, this is generally captured within maintenance standards and intervention levels.

However, risk also needs to be analysed in strategic decision making and investment planning.

An exclusive focus on indicators like condition informs part of the story – the reality is that not all assets’ classes have equivalent risk.

This broader strategic analysis can commence with a consideration of asset criticality and its related consequence of failure.

In combination, these approaches allow risk consideration to be front and centre in decision making.

The key to minimising asset-related service and delivery costs does not end at identifying optimised asset life cycle interventions and management strategies.

It is vital Council efficiently packages and specifies projects supervises program delivery, and mandates effective asset handover.

CT Management Group has extensive experience in factoring these considerations into Councils Asset Management Plans.

As we approach the end of another year, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We look forward to supporting you in 2024 as we work together towards sustainable, efficient and effective practices.

Michael Courtney
Managing Director
CT Management Group

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