Councils given online tools to help manage big projects


Victoria has become the first jurisdiction in Australia to launch a new online toolkit specifically aimed at improving the way local governments manage the delivery of large, complex and innovative infrastructure projects.

Dubbed the Major Projects Guidance for Local Government, the toolkit was officially launched by Victorian Minister for Local Government Tim Bull with plans for further launches across local jurisdictions across Australia.

The new package has been custom built for councils across Australia and is designed to span across account the unique financial, legislative and political constraints on local government in each jurisdiction.

It aims to give councils access to practical information on the key steps within the “life cycle” of major projects   from the initial project assessment right through to project review   with a particular emphasis on the planning and project establishment stages.

Local governments will also receive guidance on defining their projects, what resources are required, how to use external advisors, legal requirements, business case development, financial modelling, commercial frameworks and stakeholder relations.

The kit will also help councils in choosing between traditional and alternative procurement models as well as funding options, including private funding.

The Major Projects Guidance for Local Government package was developed by national law firm Maddocks, professional services firm Ernst & Young and supported by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) and Local Government Managers Australia (LGMA) in consultation with councils, industry, state governments and the federal government.

The LGMA welcomed the partnership and its toolkit, saying that it had resulted in “a high quality, free resource” to assist councils in their planning and delivery of infrastructure projects.

LGMA President Mark Withers said local governments are now under increasing pressure from “a costs and community expectation perspective”, which made it important for councils facilitate collaboration with the private sector to achieve “efficient and successful project outcomes”.

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