IPWEA calls for government support for education in asset management

IPWEA’s Whitepaper calls on all levels of government to commit to educational programs that raise the capacity of asset management practice.

The Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) has called on all levels of government to commit to educational programs that raise the capacity of asset management practice to ensure the community is getting the most value out of their infrastructure, in their Whitepaper launched this week.

The Whitepaper, ‘Best Practice Asset Management of Essential Public Infrastructure’ discusses the key challenges faced in the infrastructure sector including severe skill shortages, lack of ‘best practice’ cohesion, lack of auditing and understanding/recognition of asset management professionals.

IPWEA calls for an immediate addressing of the education issue in this sector, alongside five other recommendations targeted towards all three levels of government with each playing a vital role in maintaining the integrity and quality of the profession.

The failure to properly plan and manage assets can cost tax payers significantly; the 2021 National State of the Assets (NSoA) report estimated the replacement cost of local government assets (excluding land and plant equipment) was in the order of $533 billion.

IPWEA’s Whitepaper details the role the asset management profession plays in the design, management and lifecycle of infrastructure the community takes for granted such as bridges, roads, lighting, sewage, parks and more.

Myles Lind, President, IPWEA said the continued development of the asset management profession is vital to ensure taxpayers see strong returns from their infrastructure.

“Infrastructure such as water supplies, roads, sanitation, and public buildings are by far the largest investment and most complex assets that communities own. IPWEA recognises that continuously seeking to help grow and maintain infrastructure asset management capability can deliver greater employment opportunities, improve sustainability, build resilient communities and deliver stronger returns on investment,” Mr Lind said.

David Jenkins, CEO, IPWEA is passionate about continued education and believes associations have a critical role in addressing the challenges facing their industry.

“There have been numerous discussions around the skill shortage and the severe implications for the community, however, we needed a solution. That is why we developed the Asset Management Pathway allowing us to introduce the profession to more people, and skill-up those already working in the area, to directly solve the challenges facing the industry,” said Mr Jenkins.

IPWEA’s Whitepaper highlights how Australia has limited its return on investments by failing to adequately respond to the shortage of asset managers and not investing in their professional development. The asset management profession needs urgent support and response from the government to ensure public funds are spent effectively and infrastructure assets can perform at their full capacity for decades to come.

Access ‘Best Practice Asset Management of Essential Public Infrastructure’ Whitepaper here.


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