Three more local government authorities have joined the national A-SPEC Digital Data Consortium, a grouping of LGA and state government authorities throughout Australia that is modernising and simplifying the management of council assets, reducing maintenance costs and improving service delivery to ratepayers.
They include two Victorian councils, the Strathbogie Shire Council and the Macedon Ranges Shire Council, and the Shire of Augusta and Margaret River in West Australia.
Forty-seven councils and government authorities throughout Australia are now members of the consortium: 26 in Victoria, 20 in WA, and one in NSW)
Consortium members agree to use a consistent, national standard linked to their specific business workflows to record precise position information on all key infrastructure in their local areas, and when new capital works projects are completed.
The same national standard has to be met by anyone supplying asset data to a consortium member council, such as developers, construction companies and surveyors involved in local projects, such as the development of new subdivisions.
The national A-SPEC standard is not a propriety software program. It simply sets an agreed national standard framework determined by technical working groups in each state to provide asset information in a GIS-ready format, which councils can use with whatever computer software programs they prefer. This flexibility also enables the industry supplying the asset data to incorporate into their current practices.
George Havakis, who coordinates the A-SPEC Consortium, said that before the introduction of the A-SPEC standard, much of the underground asset data provided by councils came in a variety of forms including paper plans and even rough sketches supplied by developers, builders and construction companies.
Councils had to convert this paper-based data into a digital format to use in their own computer systems and often had no guarantee on the accuracy of the positional data or completeness of the data supplied.
“The adoption of A-SPEC standards has significantly reduced both the time taken and the costs involved for councils and enables them to manage local community assets more efficiently,” he added.