In a recent article in The Australian, David Jenkins, CEO of IPWEA, highlights the urgent need for a strategic overhaul in infrastructure asset management practices. Jenkins underscores the critical challenges posed by climate change, aging infrastructure, and the disproportionate focus on new projects over maintenance. 

A key concern is the lack of attention given to human resources in infrastructure planning and funding. Despite increased investment, many community assets are in poor condition, revealing a need for greater oversight and capability enhancement. 

“I think Asset Management practices could also start leveraging smart technology within the tech stack to appeal to the younger generation who have been brought “tech native”. Old cumbersome technology that may have served its purpose will have poor workflows and UX – where some software still can’t be taken onsite to make LIVE updates. Improving Employee experience within an asset management practice would be competitive advantage.” – Eugen Hansen, Founder iAM Omni 

Jenkins advocates for prioritising recruitment, education, and training in infrastructure asset management. He emphasises the importance of consistent frameworks and long-term financial planning aligned with asset management goals. A ‘whole of life’ approach involving all stakeholders is crucial for effective management. 

The article also addresses personnel shortages, with councils struggling to recruit skilled professionals. Jenkins suggests upskilling overseas-trained engineers to mitigate the skills gap in local government. 

In conclusion, Jenkins urges for funding allocation to education and a renewed focus on maintenance and renewal efforts. Neglecting these aspects will have severe consequences for future infrastructure integrity. By embracing holistic management practices and investing in human capital, we can ensure a sustainable future. 

Jenkins’s article serves as a compelling call to action, emphasising the need for immediate changes in infrastructure asset management strategies. The time to act is now, and the consequences of inaction could be dire. 

Read the original article here: