Morrison Low has worked with numerous councils throughout Australia and New Zealand to help improve the delivery of services to the community across a broad range of areas. One of our specific fields of expertise is in road management, construction and maintenance, and it was within this area that Oberon Council engaged Morrison Low to undertake an operational service review.
The provision of roads infrastructure is one of the most important roles of a council, as these assets support the supply of services that deliver on a council’s long-term objectives. A formal approach to asset management is essential to ensure that these services are provided in the most cost-effective and value-driven manner. Therefore, it is essential that asset management practices are fully aligned and integrated with a council’s Community Strategy and Long-Term Financial Plan so that community need and expectation are well understood, and that funding requirements and consequences are recognised.
For Oberon Council’s service review, the Morrison Low team utilised a two-phase approach which included an initial phase of investigation, data collection and analysis, and a second phase which focused on developing the future service delivery approach. During the first phase, Morrison Low undertook site visits to collect and verify data which was then reviewed and benchmarked against similarly geographically located and/or sized councils to Oberon, to ensure accurate analysis and points of comparison. From this, the team could begin work on the second phase which involved undertaking staff, management and stakeholder workshops and interviews, to explore phase one findings and identify significant opportunities for where improvements could be leveraged. This is critical to ensure a smooth transition for Council and community in the delivery of future road-making services.
Morrison Low was then able to develop options for a single, more efficient model for the delivery of road and plant services across the Oberon Council area. Using a collaborative approach with Council staff, to ensure usable and workable plans, the team then finalised tailored service delivery plans, which linked in with Council’s current asset management plans and strategies, for the four identified service areas.
Council was provided with 19 key recommendations covering planning and strategy, road management/operations, road maintenance for sealed roads, road maintenance for unsealed roads, road construction, and plant and equipment giving.
Oberon Council now has solid answers to the fundamental question of how Council can create value for the Oberon community, as well as the ability to ensure that future service delivery can respond to the community’s priorities.