Featured artist: Shannon Crees

Understanding our infrastructure

Featured artist: Shannon Crees
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Understanding our infrastructure

Marrickville's infrastructure management journey

Marrickville Council faces a common local government problem: matching growing community expectations with increasing regulatory demands and the need to renew and maintain ageing infrastructure. We are continually striving to improve the management of that infrastructure to achieve more sustainable decision making, and enhance community service, risk management and financial efficiency.

Marrickville Council manages its infrastructure assets under the National Asset Management Strategy Australia (NAMS). This framework includes criteria for measuring the asset management maturity of organisations. Currently, we are working towards "core maturity". This means we rely on the use of an asset register, maintenance management systems, top down condition assessment, simple risk assessment and community-defined levels of service in order to establish long term financial projections. See how we manage our data below:


Infrastructure information is collected and asset management systems are maintained by individual officers. An improvement plan aimed to make all asset information through a shared system to fill data gaps, maintain existing data and move to a long-term asset management approach.


The corporate asset system was purchased and the migration of asset data into the system started.


A high level of asset management knowledge remained in individual service areas. Asset Management became a corporate priority with increased focus on consolidation, developing asset management capacity and resourcing.


In February, Council adopted its first Asset Management Policy and Strategy. A number of strategic priorities were identified following a gap analysis in accordance with the Australian National Asset Management Strategy. Five new 'Core' Asset Management Plans were developed and adopted by Council for:

  • Transport assets
  • Stormwater assets
  • Open Space assets
  • Building assets
  • Car park assets

Council created dedicated teams focused purely on System Data Management and Infrastructure Asset Management Planning.


Council embarked on a comprehensive update of data to understand;

  • What it is that we own
  • What condition is it in
  • What does it cost to maintain that

Council convened a randomly selected, demographically representative group of local citizens who met over seven independently facilitated workshops. The Marrickville Infrastructure Jury invested over 40 hours, considered a range of documents and heard from expert speakers. The Jury set the minimum acceptable level of service for the renewal of Marrickville’s infrastructure assets, and made recommendations about how to fund this renewal as well as new investment in assets.

We still need to

Increase confidence in our data – we have come a long way, but data changes as quickly as we collect it. Our team work continuously to improve our confidence and accuracy. Have a look in more detail at our current data confidence levels.

Current Improvement Programs: The data is already telling us where more work is required. In 2015 Council has specific improvement programs to improve data around stormwater assets, all Council properties and will conduct a park tree audit.

Choices: Data maintenance is costly and resource intensive – Council balances the cost of resourcing data maintenance with the benefits of this improved data. Where up to date and complete information is not available Council has to make decisions based on the best available information including historic data, samples of networks and local knowledge.

The data we use

What can YOU do to help?

Give feedback and suggestions:

Council is doing more all the time to engage more with the community – look out for initiatives where you can get involved