And that’s a journey we still are on in New Zealand. We recently had a change in our legislation that we now have to produce 30–year infrastructure strategies.
One of the things that you’ll find as you start. Well, I remember when I started my engineering career, we had annual budgets and the money magically disappeared at the end of the year.
So you had to spend it all the year that you got it in. Then it went to three-year and then with the asset management process, it went out to ten years.
Now we have this requirement, in law, to produce 30-year projections. Now that’s a long way out, 30 years.
I was talking to a local authority yesterday to their elected representatives, and certainly, the issue that came up with that, it was a transportation network that we were talking about.
There’s a whole lot of issues around when their roads were constructed and in the one-year or the ten-year, they’re not too worried but within that 10 to 30-year bracket they’ve got a huge proportion of their network actually will be wearing out and so that was a quite an eye-opener for them yesterday to talk about.
They said that it’s not the next 10 years that we’re worried about too much but we need to really get our asset management practice in line so that we can understand what that year 20 to year 30 looks like.
Because we can’t go out there and increase the charges and the rates to the residents by the amount that this could require unless we’ve got a really good understanding.
Just to wrap up the discussion around the longer term, once you start getting out to those lengths of time, you do have to concentrate on the major issues.
And you do have to document where – just your assumptions.
And you don’t end up with hard straight-line numbers – that really doesn’t provide a good indication of the reality.
So you are sort of looking at an envelope of probable scenarios based on the information that you have.
I think that’s one of the things with this infrastructure strategy requirement in New Zealand Ross, which is one of the things that’s required in that is to identify the major decisions that need to be made in that 30-year window. And I think that’s really good.
While we’re talking about these high level, very much some of these are management issues.
There’s still that nuts and bolts that actually make asset management get there and that’s the inventory.
PHOTO CREDIT: Jocelyn Kinghorn via Flickr Creative Commons License