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C13 Strategic asset management

The Directorate's asset management strategy is based on the following key principles:

The Directorate is responsible for 84 public schools including preschool sites. To ensure these facilities are kept at standards suitable for delivering quality educational programs the Directorate has a maintenance program for urgent and minor repairs, planned maintenance, and repair of vandalised and damaged facilities. In addition, the Directorate has an ongoing capital works program for the upgrade of school and preschool facilities.

Issues managed by the Directorate include:

Assets managed

As at 30 June 2012, the Directorate managed assets with a total net book value of $1,878.3 million (Table C13.1).

Table C13.1: Assets and their values at 30 June 2012

Asset class

Value ($ million)

Land and building (including improvements thereon) for schools and preschools


Leasehold improvements


Property, plant and equipment




Source: Finance and Corporate Support Branch

During 2011-12 the significant assets added to the Directorate's asset register are given in Table C13.2.

Table C13.2: Assets added to the asset register during 2011-12


Value ($ million)

Capital works - Harrison School


Capital works - Namadgi School, Gungahlin College and Calwell High School Performing Arts Centre


Capital works - various school and preschool sites


Capital initiatives – various ICT projects at various school sites




Source: Finance and Corporate Support Branch

The Directorate assessed that in 2011-12 the total value of impairment to property, plant and equipment was $9.0 million due to the temporary closure of Taylor Primary School in March 2012 for rectification work. As a result, asset values have been reduced by this amount.

Asset transfers

During 2011-12, responsibility for the French Australian Preschool at Red Hill Primary School was transferred to the Economic Development Directorate and responsibility for the Narrabundah Preschool (Nimbin Street) was transferred to the Community Services Directorate. The total value of the assets transferred was $2.2 million.

Asset maintenance and upgrade

The Directorate undertakes maintenance and upgrades to schools in consultation with schools and School Network Leaders. The Directorate prepared annual repairs and maintenance plans for each school on the basis of information from building condition assessments, requests from schools and information gained from other sources such as consultant reports and site visits. Works were subsequently undertaken, both by schools and the central office, with larger and more significant works included in the Directorate's capital works program in priority order within the available funds.

The importance of maintenance and major refurbishment is a priority for the Directorate given the increasing average age of school facilities.

Asset maintenance

In the 2011-12 year, the Directorate received $11.945 million for school repairs and maintenance. The repairs and maintenance program included:

In addition, capital funding was allocated in the 2011-12 ACT Budget to undertake a program of fire system upgrades across all ACT public schools ($2.56 million over two years) and a program for hazardous materials removal works at priority schools ($3.4 million over two years).

Building condition assessments of all schools (including preschools) are conducted on a
three-year rolling program and cover buildings, services and grounds. During 2011-12, building condition assessments were conducted at 37 schools. The results of these reports are taken into account in preparing the Directorate's annual school repairs and maintenance program.

Tree assessment audits are conducted at each school on an annual basis. The 2011-12 year was the third year of annual audits with 87 audits conducted. The outcomes are included in the Directorate's tree maintenance program.

In line with the Dangerous Substances Act 2004, the Directorate completed the program of inspections to prepare Hazardous Materials Survey Management Plans (HMSMP) for each school. These plans are comprehensive and include all potentially hazardous materials (asbestos containing materials, lead-based paint, synthetic mineral fibres, polychlorinated biphenyls and ozone depleting substances). The HMSMP is updated every three years, with the Asbestos Register which is included in the HMSMP updated annually.

Copies of HMSMP and the Asbestos Register are accessible at each school for inspection by staff, parents, carers and tradespeople. In addition, plans showing areas of known asbestos in schools were mounted in entry areas to all ACT school sites during 2011-12.

The drought conditions and water restrictions in recent years have had an impact on the school grounds and play areas. Reduced water availability has contributed to the poor condition of many grassed play areas and has contributed to tree distress. To assist with the efficient use of water (e.g. connection to toilets, irrigation of gardens etc), rainwater tanks were installed at all ACT public early childhood, primary and secondary schools during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 years. Further water tanks will be installed at four colleges in 2012-13.

In addition to installing non-potable water supplies to schools, pilot sustainable landscapes were constructed at two schools – Giralang and Aranda Primary Schools – with works being finalised at Gowrie Primary, Red Hill Primary and Stromlo High Schools.

During the reporting period, the Directorate conducted its annual bushfire prevention audit. These audits were conducted across all ACT public schools and included removing leaf litter from roofs, gutter and downpipes, cutting long grass, clearing grounds of tree litter and removing stockpiles of combustible material such as paper, cardboard and compost.

As part of the fire systems upgrade program, fire detection and evacuation systems (including emergency lighting, emergency egress, fire indictor panels, smoke and thermal detectors and emergency warning intercom systems) were upgraded at 24 schools in 2011-12. A further 56 schools will be upgraded during the 2012-13 ensuring all ACT public schools have high quality systems.

Stage 2 of the hazardous materials removal program was commenced and substantially progressed during the 2011-12 year. This follows the stage 1 works undertaken in 2008â€'09 and 2009-10. In the reporting period, asbestos removal works was undertaken at 38 ACT public schools.

During 2011-12, the Directorate undertook the following further specific works:

In addition to the planned school asset maintenance and upgrade programs managed and delivered by the central office, schools are also funded to undertake repairs and minor works tasks.

Major asset upgrades

Funding of $12.878 million was provided in the 2011-12 Budget for capital upgrades at schools and preschools. In addition, upgrade projects totalling $2.823 million were carried forward from the 2010â€'11 year.
The following projects were undertaken in 2011-12.

Older school upgrades

A major upgrade at Torrens Primary School was completed during the reporting period. Planning for major upgrade works at Hughes and Yarralumla Primary Schools was also progressed in 2011-12 with works to be undertaken in the 2012-13 year.

Major landscape and car park improvement works were progressed at Red Hill Primary School during the reporting period. These works were undertaken in conjunction with the school extension works.

New school facilities

The new four classroom teaching pod at Ngunnawal Primary School was completed early in the 2011-12 year. This project was jointly funded through the More Teachers, Lower Class Sizes and capital upgrades programs.

School refurbishments and improvements

Works were completed at 21 ACT public schools in the 2011-12 year, including:

In addition, improvement and upgrade works were completed at Charnwood, Garran, North Ainslie, Taylor, Theodore and Torrens Preschools.

Office accommodation

During the year, central office staff were located at 220 Northbourne Avenue in Braddon, the Hedley Beare Centre for Teaching and Learning in Stirling, the Lyons Education Centre in Lyons, the former Higgins Primary School, Fyshwick Annex and The Maribyrnong Centre in Kaleen.

Staff census of schools conducted in February 2012 recorded 4,671 full-time equivalent staff employed in non-office environments at ACT public school sites. Staff located at these sites included teachers, school leaders, office administrators, general service officers and building service officers.

Table C13.3: Central Office sites, staff numbers (headcount) and space occupied, as at
30 June 2012
a, b

Building and location

Staff Numbers

Approximate area occupied (m2)

Average area occupied per employee (m2)

220 Northbourne Avenue, Braddon




Hedley Beare Centre for Teaching and Learning, Stirling




Maribyrnong Primary School, Kaleen








Source: Finance and Corporate Support Branch

For more information contact:
Schools Capital Works
(02) 6205 3173