Item 8.3 on the agenda for the council meeting on 23rd June 2022 is consideration of the Asset Plan 2022-2032 and the associated Asset Management Policy 2022.
The officer report includes an overview of the submissions received during the community engagement phase, including a copy of the complete submission from Streets Alive Yarra. We suggested that council should plan 50 years in advance, and make the asset list publicly viewable.
The officer response was that council does not have the capability, resources or systems in place to plan for 50 years of lifecycle forecasts.
We don’t think that this is a satisfactory response. Council should have the capability to plan the necessary expenditures to maintain assets over their lifetime, including 50 years in advance. Costs for asset maintenance are material to the council budget. Neither officers nor councillors should be shocked when large expenditures for asset maintenance come up. Indeed, these should be forecast well in advance, so the larger expenditures can be staggered so as not to overlap. Note that the core issue is one of forecasting, not detailed planning. We suggest that instead of accepting the officer recommendation, councillors should propose an amendment that requests more information, for example:
2. Receive a report in the next council meeting describing what capability, resources or systems are required for council to have the capability to forecast asset maintenance expenditures 50 years in advance.
Published 19th June 2022