Council eyes better asset management

Published on 28 November 2019

A road closed sign blocks off a road while heavy machinery conducts roadworks

Council could soon be in a better position to manage its expansive asset base after Councillors voted to put a suite of plans related to its infrastructure on display.

Last night Councillors voted to put a draft Asset Management Policy, Asset Management Strategy, and Benchmarks For Building Assets Rationalisation on display for public feedback for 28 days.

Council's General Manager, James Roncon, said the documents represented a long-awaited breakthrough for better management of Council assets such as buildings, roads, parks, ovals, and footpaths.

"It's no secret that the city's infrastructure hasn't been adequately maintained or renewed for several decades, and a big reason for that shortfall was that Council simply had no strategic approach to managing its assets," he said.

"Once these plans are implemented Council will have a structure and framework from which to tackle this infrastructure backlog and better maintain assets into the future.

"I know that local government strategies and policies probably aren't terribly enthralling for most ratepayers, but from a Council perspective we're really excited about this process.

"It's a big step forward for our organisation, and something we've been working on for a long time."

Mr Roncon said the plans would also greatly assist with required asset rationalisation into the future.

"Council has too many assets that we simply cannot afford and cannot maintain, many of which are left over from when Broken Hill had a much larger population," he said.

"It was recognised through the Long Term Financial Plan that Council would eventually face financial collapse if it continued to trying to maintain all these assets.

"We need to reduce our asset base and maintain a smaller pool of items to a high standard, rather than continuing to struggle physically and financially with a large asset base that we do not have the resources to maintain.

"We've made slow progress in this area since the Long Term Financial Plan was adopted in June, but once these plans and strategies are adopted we can investigate how we can adapt our asset base to ensure we strike a balance between affordability and community needs."

The draft Asset Management Policy, Asset Management Strategy, and Benchmarks For Building Assets Rationalisation will be added to Council's 'Documents On Public Display' section this week.

Those wishing to lodge a submission around the documents can do here.