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C12 Strategic asset management

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

  • asset management activities are undertaken within an integrated and coordinated framework
  • asset management practices and decisions are guided by service delivery needs
  • asset planning and management are integrated with corporate and business plans, as well as budgetary and reporting processes
  • capital expenditure decisions are based on evaluations of alternatives that take into account estimated costs, benefits and risks (in particular occupational, health and safety risks).

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:

  • ageing asset stock
  • refurbishment to support curriculum activities
  • installation of information and communication technology infrastructure
  • utilisation of existing facilities
  • car parking and traffic management
  • installation of security related infrastructure
  • demographic change
  • climate change.

Assets managed

As at 30 June 2011, the Directorate managed assets with a total net book value of $1,854.9m (Table C12.1).

Table C12.1: Assets and their values at 30 June 2011

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 2010-11 the significant assets added to the Directorate’s asset register are given in Table C12.2.

Table C12.2: Assets added to the asset register during 2010-11


value ($ million)

New land - Franklin Early Childhood School and Bonner Primary School


Capital works - Namadgi School, Harrison Secondary School and Gungahlin College


Capital works - Building the Education Revolution projects


Capital works - various school and preschool sites




Source: Finance and Corporate Support Branch

The Directorate assessed that in 2010-11 the total value of impairment to property, plant and equipment was $6.9m due to the closure of Urambi Primary School in December 2010. As a result, asset values were reduced by this amount.

Surplus asset transfers

During 2010-11, responsibility for Birrigai Outdoor School infrastructure at Tidbinbilla was transferred to the Territory and Municipal Services Directorate. The total value of the assets transferred was $12.8m.

Asset maintenance and upgrade

Asset maintenance

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 central office, with larger and more significant works included in the Directorate’s capital works program in priority order within the available funds.

The need for increased maintenance and major refurbishment continues to become more important as the average age of school facilities increases.

In the 2010-11 year, the Directorate received $11.6m for school repairs and maintenance. The repairs and maintenance program included:

  • a program of works for all primary and secondary level schools, based on the annual rolling program
  • an allocation for unforeseen maintenance such as vandalism, fire and flood damage
  • high priority works arising from school building condition assessment reports, and
  • a schedule of maintenance for preschools.

Building condition assessments of all schools (including preschools) are conducted on a three-year rolling program and cover buildings, services and grounds. This year building condition assessments were conducted at 40 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. This year was the third year of annual audits with 67 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. During 2010-11 the final five HMSMPs were completed. 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). These plans will be updated every five years. Copies of HMSMPs are accessible at each school for inspection by staff, parents, carers and tradespeople.

The drought conditions and water restrictions in recent years have had an impact on school grounds and play areas. Reduced water availability has contributed to the poor condition of many grassed play areas and has also contributed to tree distress. To assist with the efficient use of water, rainwater tanks were installed at 37 schools during the 2010-11 year. Further water tanks will be installed at schools in 2011-12.

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

To assist with good hygiene practices at ACT public schools, framed posters promoting hand washing were installed in all student toilets.

Major asset upgrades

Funding of $12.6m was provided in the 2010-11 Budget for capital upgrades at schools and preschools. Due to cost overruns on some major capital works projects, a number of upgrade projects were deferred until the 2011-12 year.

The following projects were undertaken in 2010-11.

Older school upgrades - $0.33m

A major upgrade at Torrens Primary School was substantially completed during the reporting period with works expected to be finalised early in the 2011-12 year. Planning for major upgrade works at Hughes and Yarralumla Primary Schools was commenced with works to be undertaken in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

Designs for major landscape and car park improvement works at Red Hill School have been completed, with works to be undertaken in 2011-12 in conjunction with the school extension works.

New school facilities - $0.78m

The new four classroom teaching pod at Ngunnawal Primary School was well progressed by the end of the reporting period and is expected to be handed over to the school early in the 2011-12 year. This project was jointly funded through the ‘More Teachers, Lower Class Sizes’ and Capital Upgrades Programs.

School infrastructure improvements - $1.79m

Student amenity improvements were completed at Calwell, Campbell, Charles Conder, Curtin, Hawker, Latham, Mawson, Miles Franklin, Mount Rogers and Wanniassa Hills Primary Schools during the reporting period. Works were in progress at 11 schools at the end of the reporting period.

Teaching area improvements were completed at University of Canberra High School, Kaleen, Hawker and Lake Tuggeranong Colleges and Malkara School during the reporting period. Upgrade works were also completed at seven preschools. Works were in progress at Theodore Primary School at the end of the reporting period.

Building compliance upgrades - $0.95m

Minor works to address occupational health and safety issues at 11 schools were undertaken during the reporting period.

School security improvements - $1.11m

Security upgrades were completed at seven schools during the reporting period – Canberra College, Hughes, Lyneham and Monash Primary Schools, Florey Preschool and Lanyon and Lyneham High Schools.

School safety improvements - $0.90m

Emergency lighting upgrades were completed at 22 schools during the reporting period.

Environmentally sustainable design initiatives - $0.50m

The program of works included the installation of solar power generation systems at Gungahlin College and Theodore Primary School, the completion of energy audits at ACT public schools, the production of a sustainability handbook and action kit for ACT public schools and the installation of a trial digital monitoring system for energy consumption at Gold Creek School.

This program is in addition to the installation of rain water tanks funded under the ACT Public Schools – Water Tanks program and solar panels funded under the ACT Solar Schools Program.

Melba Copland Secondary School (Copland campus)

Refurbishment of the college canteen was undertaken to return the facilities to an acceptable standard. This work was funded through the Emergency Fund managed by the Treasury Directorate. The works included new commercial cooking facilities, a new cool room, contemporary cafe-style seating, student break-out area and new furniture throughout.

Calwell Primary School Library

The fire damaged library at Calwell Primary School was demolished and replaced. This was funded through an insurance payment and funds committed through the Building the Education Revolution initiative.

Farrer Primary School

Ventilation improvements were undertaken in the sub-floor areas of the Ellyard Building.

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, Lyons Education Centre in Lyons, Higgins Primary School, Fyshwick Annex and Maribyrnong Primary School in Kaleen (Table C12.3).

Staff census of schools conducted in February 2011 recorded 3,854.7 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 C12.3: Office sites, staff (headcount) and space occupied, as at 30 June 2011

Building and location


Approximate area occupied (m2)

Average area occupied per employee (m2)

220 Northbourne Avenue, Braddon




Hedley Beare Centre for Teaching and
Learning, Stirling




Lyons Education Centre, Lyons




Higgins Primary School, Higgins




Fyshwick Annex, Fyshwick




Maribyrnong Primary School, Kaleen








Source: Finance and Corporate Support Branch

a. Average area includes office accommodation for Student Support, the Board of Senior Secondary Studies and meeting rooms.
b. Average area includes office accommodation for Teacher Recruitment Section, Teacher Quality Institute and interview rooms.
c. Average area includes office accommodation for Records Management Unit and warehouse facilities.
d. Average area includes Student Support (Vision Support Team and Hearing Support Team).

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