Data: we have lift-off

Stuart Joyce, Dean Watts and Barry Carter.


Before we can take flight for the future, we need a strong launching pad to start from. Understanding the quantity, location and condition of assets is an essential starting point for the implementation, development and maintenance of a successful asset management system.

While all local government bodies across Australia and New Zealand will have undertaken some level of data collection projects in the past decade, too often the outputs will now be considered out of date, inaccurate, in the wrong format or occasionally locked away in a spreadsheet on the C: drive of someone’s computer who left five years ago.

Some councils will have the funds to regularly redo these assessments, but often this is considered to be too hard, too expensive or a combination of both. As a result, assets such as drainage infrastructure and water sensitive urban design devices, which may not be easily assessed or accessed, are often left in the too hard basket.

This paper discusses:

  • Cost effective methods available for identifying and prioritising data collection projects needed to launch or refresh successful asset management systems.
  • A range of low cost GIS data collection tools and processes, that can be readily used both internally by council staff as well as externally by consultants to undertake the assessments.
  • Examples of how such data can be easily displayed and utilised in the GIS environment.

Jennifer Howe

Digital Content Manager