Sustainable Ecological Asset Management

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Learn how Brightly and E2Designlab integrated the unique needs of ecological assets into the asset management system of Sydney Olympic Park Authority, to:

  • Address present issues and ensure long-term sustainable delivery of ecosystem services
  • Make informed investment decisions and mitigate asset failure
  • Model various funding scenarios across both traditional and ecological assets
  • Andy Boulton, Transport and Facilities Lead, Brightly
  • Sally Boer, Director, E2Designlab
  • David Horseman, Strategic Asset Management Services Manager, Brightly


Hello and welcome to the Brightly Sustainable Ecological Asset Management Webinar. My name is Andy Boulton. I'm the Transport and Facilities lead at Brightly and I'll be your host today. This webinar is one of a series of asset management briefings that have been run by Brightly. These have ranged from topics such as condition assessment protocols for marine infrastructure all the way through to how to achieve it for 16 compliance with your asset contracts.

When you're managing these contracts, if you would like more information about any of these events and click on the Contact us email at the bottom of your screen. So in terms of the protocol for the webinar today, we'll take questions at the end, but I'd encourage you to raise any questions through the session, through the question panel. You should also see on your screen.

The session will be recorded and everyone will be provided a link to the recording. Probably within the next 24 hours. So on that, provide a bit of background to this webinar. Before I introduce you to the presenters, the 17 Sustainability sorry, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 are a call to action by all countries developed or developing in a global partnership to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all people and the world by 2030 rightly has identified three of the United Nations SDGs, where our organization can make the greatest impact from a strategic asset management perspective.

These three SDGs are number nine Industry innovation and infrastructure, Number 13 Climate Action and the 15 SDG 15 Life on Land. With these prioritized SDGs in mind, we have partnered with E2 Design Lab to help organizations more effectively include their natural assets in their future financial sustainability plans alongside civil, mechanical, electrical and marine assets. The brightly added to design lab approach is to work with organizations who want to bring their environments and asset management teams together by producing a framework that incorporates ecological assets.

So with that background in mind, let me introduce you to our presenters. You will have seen their bios on the screen in front of you, but I'll just provide some some summary highlights. Saliba is the founding director of E2 Design Lab and an aquatic ecologist with over 20 years experience in water sensitive urban design, waterway and Wetland Rehab and Ecological Asset Management.

Sally worked with Breitling on the Sydney Olympic Park Project when she headed up the Ecological Infrastructure Asset Management Plan, which won the 2022 Stormwater Queensland Excellence Award in Asset Management. Now let me move on to David Horseman. David is David is a true strategic asset management expert and he's the services manager, rightly the services manager for the Strategic Asset Management Team in the region.

David is passionate about the value that the effective management of ecological assets can bring to communities, and I'm sure you'll get a sense of that in the second part of the webinar when Dave starts to introduce his his story. So now what I'll do, I'll hand over the reins. This webinar to Sally and David over to you guys.

Thanks very much indeed. And get started. Pleased to be here. Co-presenting and head off with maintaining and protecting ecological assets with strategic asset management. So what we'll be running through today over the course of this webinar is what are ecological assets that are, what are they and why are they important to manage effectively? And some of the challenges and why they haven't necessarily been managed under strategic asset management plans before at some in some advances in this approach and how we can actually go about incorporating these into asset management systems and we'll dive into this Sydney Olympic Park asset Management Plan as a case study of how it can be, it can be done and where we think, you know, the evolution of strategic asset management planning is going so exist out. What are we talking about when we say ecological assets that that can be called a lot of different things. The photos I'm about to show are all from Sydney Olympic Park, but basically they include natural systems such as the one you see here salt marshes, mangroves.

They can be natural systems like waterways and ponds. They can also be constructed ecological assets such as retention basins and swales, as well as stormwater treatment ponds and retention systems. All of these systems have in common is that they have natural ecological components such as plants. A lot of these lots they have water, but they also have constructed engineering elements as well.

And in these photos you can see things like fences and retaining walls. They have inlets and outlets. So there is a combination of living and non-living components which deliver the ecosystem services that they provide. So being that can be constructed or natural, they can have both ecological and more traditional asset management components. And they're also known as many other names sorry, ecological assets really encompass things like nature based solutions, but a green structure.

What a sense of urban design assets or environmental assets, among others. The things about these type of assets is that they deliver ecosystem services which are really critical to supporting the livability and prosperity of our communities. And this includes habitat and biodiversity as well as water filtering, visual amenity, soil stabilization and shade and cooling carbon sequestration, as well as reducing stormwater pollution and flooding.

It's a whole range of services that are really important.

Some people might think, Well, why if natural particularly the natural assets, don't they just look after themselves And in a completely natural catchment where there's no human influences, they probably would do just fine on themselves. But in, in urban areas, you know, activities such as urban development, stormwater drainage can have significant impacts on the condition and function of these ecological assets, such as sediment, build up litter, increased stormwater volume, the inflows that change the hydrology of these systems and likewise the functional failure of these ecological assets can also have impacts on surrounding infrastructure and actually cause things like road flooding.

So it's really important that the management of these assets is done in a way that works between environmental and civil components to ensure that they're managed to mitigate impacts on the systems and how they function, but also to make sure that those ecological assets aren't inadvertently having impacts on other pieces of important infrastructure that might be as well around as well.

It's also really important to think about how the better management and recognition of these ecological assets as assets can be beneficial as well for for corporations and their responsibilities in demonstrating environmental management and social responsibility, in delivering on their goals of IS strategies. And also as Andy and have read through the Sustainable Development Goals and Strategic Asset Management, really provides or can provide a strategic and genuine method of delivering and demonstrating how you delivering on these types of strategies and reporting that might be required.

So the question is, I guess, you know, well, why aren't they being managed? And there are some challenges, I guess, compared to hard constructed assets. There's probably less information around and resources around about how we actually go about maintaining them. And often there's just not the budget around for maintenance. And part of that is that they're often not even recognized as assets and thus there's no real financial planning that goes forward into allocating appropriate budgets.

There also can be communication issues around who is actually responsible for maintaining the system and the maintenance Renewal needs can also be unpredictable or far less predictable as perhaps a road or a footpath. So what happens is that maintenance, if it is done, is often very reactive in that no maintenance is done until something really bad happens and suddenly your your ecological asset is getting a lot of the unwanted attention.

And then it's sort of everyone's call to action to try to figure out what needs to be done and how to fix it. And that can be quite expensive. And restoring ecological access, it can often take very long timeframes as well together with these systems, sometimes they can be self-sustaining and they can go on in perpetuity and actually improving condition.

But sometimes they also do degrade and have had problems as well. But unlike some other hard infrastructure, they often cannot reasonably be decommissioned because they're providing essential ecological services, such as the compliance of water. And without having these systems that are recognized in assets and connected up into asset management systems, they're often poorly funded, even though we know that they really do require proactive planning and management and therefore investment is required to make sure that budgets are really spent effectively and not not allowing these systems to degrade to a point where there's major issues and big expense to try to recover them.

But in terms of advances in asset management, I guess there has been quite a bit of work in more recent years around understanding the function of ecosystem services and ecological systems and understanding their importance, recognizing that these systems are providing a lot of value to livability, including that water filtering for food, clean water and cooling for for human comfort as well.

So understanding, I guess, these services that are delivered by ecological assets provides a mechanism of balancing competing objectives and sort of establishing clear criteria for how they should be performing and defining levels of service and clear baseline or benchmarks and performance targets allows authorities who are looking after these systems to know what to look for, what what are those standards that they should be meeting and when they might be falling short of that.

And what again, so in terms of asset management moving forward, it's about identifying multiple levels of service which pick up on the complexity of these ecological systems. And that's a really important element of them. Listening is an example of a natural wetland illustration, something that we developed for Logan City Council. It was a communication piece that they could use both for the community, the development sector and local councils to explain, you know what what is natural wetland should look like and what are the expected levels of service based on where it's located.

And there were multiple levels of service defined. You can see here it crosses recreation, amenity, hydrology, water quality, ecological habitat and public health and safety advances. Oh, sorry, I'm just going to go back, hopefully. Okay. So some of those advances in looking at adapting their traditional asset management frameworks to enable these ecological infrastructure to be incorporated really provides a mechanism to be able to communicate the funding required to deliver those benchmark defined levels of service ensures that there's money available and expended most efficiently, allows for more proactive and coordinated response to managing these systems, allows better communication between different departments and how they can best work together to make sure that maintenance actions are complementary and not conflicting or actually causing problems on their systems. And I guess gives you a measure of effectiveness of those management actions as well. So allows for that feedback loop on and increasing and knowledge around how best to manage these systems. So as an example of this, I guess advancement in strategic asset management is the Sydney Olympic Park case study.

The Sydney Olympic Park is it covers a really large area, 640 hectares of of land and the authority Sydney Olympic Park Authority is responsible for managing, I guess, the last lasting legacy of the 2000 Olympics. And they really have a significant portfolio of assets with substantial environmental value and legislative obligations around detection and management. And these assets include lakes and ponds, waterways, retention systems, wetlands, salt marshes, mangroves, etc. and they provide a huge amount of value and services, including Sydney community hydrology management, including the conveyance and flood mitigation, water quality and also water harvesting, which supports the water reclamation and management scale brand.

As it's more commonly known around the site. There's a huge amount of community education and biodiversity habitat provided and well super have done a fantastic job looking after these assets over the last ten years. They are starting to deteriorate and sort of get to some problematic levels. These before. And so they recognize that they needed to do something different and get some advice and input so that they had they understood the actions that were required to better maintain these systems and understand the fund, the funding that's available or would be required to appropriately look after these.

So the project involved four key stages that was developing an asset management framework specifically for these ecological assets going out and undertaking condition audits and risk assessments to really understand the maintenance and rectification requirements and needs, and then building some really tailored and useful resources for the team internally so that they could take on the future management of these systems with the knowledge and advice of what maintenance management and requirements are needed on the ground, but also the financial projections that are required to support the ecosystem services that they provide.

And so in the end it was to develop a strategic asset management plan incorporating some of this innovative predictive modeling, which David would be talking through as well. A little bit later. So I intend to stage one in developing the asset management framework. We really worked closely with the environmental engineering and asset management teams within SUPER to understand what types of assets and define those asset types classes and values and to also identify the levels of service and typical maintenance and rectification works that are required when those works should be triggered.

And the types of frequency was also really important to understand risks to the systems based on their the context in history and to develop and refine condition scoring criteria that could be applied and understanding how those systems could deteriorate over time as well. So that stage one is just some snippets from the work that we did, and an important stage of that was identifying a whole range of values that are really critical for the systems in, in delivering services and also understanding the risks or pressures that could impact the ecological assets.

And we also defined asset class and for super, they had so many visitors going to the park each year. It was really important to acknowledge the location of these assets, that it was very much around amenity the amenity value of each of the assets and then bringing it all together, we were able to define a range of technical levels and service, which recognized the values that these different types of assets delivered and the class, and importantly, defining what that baseline level of services, which kind of set a benchmark to be able to assess the systems against and define and defining a risk assessment which could be applied to each asset as a standard approach of understanding the relative risk around a whole range of criteria. So stage two, after we had developed that framework, was actually hitting out and we undertook 158 individual condition assessments of the systems as well as their supporting hard infrastructure components. We had digitize condition audit forms which were customized for each different asset type and to give efficiency to that process.

And each component was given a score between one being very good and five very poor together with fighter logs. The audits also involved identifying the works that might be required to maintain or restore the assets. And all the asset audit data was input into a condition audit database and the Digital Asset Management Dashboard. So all of that information was collected and put into a costed and prioritized list of maintenance and rectification outcomes.

Again, he's just some snippets from that work which identifies some of the assets, the conditions scores against sort of each of the components of those assets. So you can see that we we looked at inlets and outlets and vegetation condition and a number of different factors, all of that, each of those elements giving giving conditions forwards and then it allowed us to develop a maintenance and rectification schedule which identified, I guess, that the asset, the component of the asset and the nature or type of maintenance rectification work that was required and those could then be prioritized and costed right across that asset portfolio to inform the asset management plan and, and financial projections.

It's important also to define the lifecycle needs of the systems and the trajectory. Sorry if you're not if you don't do any work, if it if the trajectory is rapid, then these systems would decline rapidly. But with the implementation of these regimes of inspection, maintenance, in some cases rectification, then we kind of project out as well what the likely outcome in terms of performance would be.

And another step was also creating the resources that could underpin the on ground management of the system. So this was pulling together all of the supporting information to allow coordination between the environmental and civil teams, maintenance rectification, schedules really to guide that on ground works is basically a go to sort of guide for on ground teams to help with implementation and really support the long term sustainability of those systems and collated everything together in a relatively succinct reference document.

So here's some, some of these extracts for one of the systems which pulls together. It's its asset type plus the key values. It provides its condition at that point in time, as well as the condition of all its associated components. It then had a summary of the environmental, social and economic risks that were identified and we were able to then go on and prepare for each individual asset maintenance and rectification tasks, including critical criticality being defined and used as a mechanism of prioritizing those with.

And this is an example of a high level concept design. And we also undertook cost estimates for a number of the priority sites so that they had reference to be able to start rolling out and progressing any of the more major rectification works as well that were required. And stage four, this is where I'll hand over to David to talk through the strategic Asset management and predictive modeling.

And so I'll leave you there and hand over to David. Thank you. Thank you, Sally. And thanks everyone who's online live with this today or watching the recording, as Sally indicated, what I'll do is I'll actually step you through now how we took all of that very rich component sized information across soapies, ecological assets and how we brought that into our predictive software to generate the lifecycle analysis that ultimately fed into the asset management plan.

So in terms of what we did, we essentially used that information that was garnered through those three stages that Sally just stepped through to build that understanding of the lifecycle trajectories of the assets. And as we would refer to the real world understanding of exactly how those assets were performing, what were the potential causes of deterioration and all of the criticality service level and prioritization elements that were built out in the framework and I would just flag upfront that even though we're presenting it essentially as a linear process, you would appreciate that in many ways those stages were iterative, so it was necessary for us to consider ultimately that end point of generating that lifecycle analysis that helped to inform how that framework should be developed, what elements should be included, even how we would go about assessing the service criteria that Sally was referring to. Ultimately, what we did is we brought that into our predictor software and that gives us a whole lot of strategic asset management capability in terms of how we can understand those lifecycle analyzes and the stories that they tell.

But in particular, what I'm going to focus on today is essentially three key components being the financial requirements, the service level impacts and what that meant in terms of future risk profiles to Sydney Olympic Park and able to do that across multiple funding strategies in a what if style analysis. One of the other key strengths of using Predictor to do this is that in the report some visualizations that are generated as a result, it's not just about looking at the portfolio at a high level or individual asset by asset, but actually the ability to look at the portfolio and slice and dice it in many different ways.

So whether that's at the aggregated portfolio level, whether that's down to a particular precinct or a particular asset class criticality or even down to an individual asset, the ability is there for any user to slice and dice that information across all those different levels. So what I'll do is I'll step you through briefly just some of those key outputs.

Now it will only be an initial snapshot into those three key areas that I want to cover. Suffice to say, there's a very rich range of reporting and analytics that are available within the predictive platform. So we'll start with the investment strategies and funding requirements part of it. And what I'll do is I'll step you through just some of the key results and some of the key visualizations.

So in this one that you're looking at at the moment, this is essentially at that initial level where we've got three different simulations that are being run, looking at three different funding strategies and their impact to the overall service levels across the portfolio. And you can see just quickly from that visualization, without diving into too much detail that across those three scenarios, while they may start out okay over the first five or six years, as Sally was was describing in setting the scene over the next 5 to 20 years, there are going to be some significant requirements in terms of rectification works and how we fund those and when we time those are ultimately going to impact the service level outcomes. Once you've got that high level view, you're also then able to dive down into some of the detail. So the second visual that I'm showing you here is actually about then looking at any given simulation in and of itself and understanding underneath that investment strategy, underneath those funding requirements that are identified on a year by year basis, what's the actual scope of the treatments that need to be applied?

What's ultimately going to be the make up of those rectification works and what does that look like as the distribution year on year? The other thing that you can do is then dive into what does that mean in terms of the actual program candidate. So if I'm then looking to package up our annual works program, if I'm going through a budget bid process or needing to sequence those projects to occur, what's the actual make up against which assets, when is that sequence and what's the estimated cost for those works?

And again, with this slide, you'll probably notice that one of the key things that you can do is actually to go through and start to slice and dice using the filter pane on the left hand side, start to slice and dice that down to any particular level. So in this instance, I've chosen a particular part of the precinct.

But again, you could use any of those filters to get a better understanding at that particular level. The second thing we focused on were those service level outcomes. And critical here as we step through is not just understanding service levels as a whole, but again, using that filtering feature, you'll see that we can ultimately drill down to any of those particular service level outcomes across the different values and across the different technical levels of service that Sally was referring to earlier.

What you're looking at in the first visual here is actually a comparison across those three different simulations in terms of how they would impact a particular service level and what that describes action across that service level would look like at a portfolio level. But similarly then, as with the previous slide, you can then dive down into any given simulation and start to look at it from an asset by asset perspective.

So not just as a distribution, but if I was to look at all of those assets that make up that distribution, how are they performing on a year by year basis? And with the fairly quick and simple heatmap, you can start to visualize and hone in on those assets that may not be able to be funded within any given simulation and what that's going to mean for their performance over time.

And in particular, if we were to focus then in on this part of the visualization here. So where we actually have those filters that I was referring to, you'll see that across those service criteria, there are actually a whole range of things that we can be looking at here and in particular, if I draw your attention to those items that are starting with a V in that list, these are in many ways nontraditional types of service criteria to be looking at.

They're actually those value based criteria, things like biodiversity, migratory shorebirds, endangered species, habitat, a whole raft of service level impacts that were able to be understood by assessing how each of the components of those assets would contribute you'd to those service level outcomes. So it becomes a really powerful way of telling a compelling message when we're looking at different funding strategies.

The third key area that we looked at was the potential impact to risk profiles. And again, as with the previous slides, we have the ability to both compare simulations side by side. Your typical what will the future look like under these alternate strategies and very similar to what we saw with the service level outcomes in the investment strategy slide, you can see a similar thing being demonstrated here with your risk profile outcomes.

We're essentially were able to look at those three simulations side by side and track over time how they're going to perform under those different simulations. And in this particular instance, we're focused on the high end extreme risk assets. We can fairly quickly and easily see that under some of those simulations we're going to experience a significant increase in our risk profile over time.

And then if you want to understand that in a little bit more detail, you can dive into the specific risk distribution for any particular simulation. And again, just highlighting that along that left hand pane, you'll see that that that set of filters is there within each of these visualizations that we're looking at. So while I'm showing you just a particular snapshot, suffice to say that every one of these visualizations that you're looking at has the ability to be sliced and diced across multiple filters.

Again, giving you really powerful and engaging way to have a conversation with stakeholders around what the various impacts of your management strategy going forward is going to be. So with those three key three key outcomes being the main things that I wanted to showcase today, I just wanted to bring that back into a key element here, which is we can have a very rich and a very compelling data set, but how we go about utilizing that information, how we go about doing our analyzes and what that means in terms of the actual art of asset management storytelling.

Any of you that know me well know that I am a really strong advocate for making sure that we always position ourselves to tell a compelling and engaging asset management story. And to do that, there really are a few key things firstly, focusing on those key headline indicators. So essentially if we use those three examples, I just step through, they are immediate things that are going to be a key part of the consideration when making a decision on which way to go.

Also key is making those, making those visualizations engaging. So the fact that you can actually interact with them, the fact that you can slice and dice them in multiple ways, the fact that you can do them as a comparison simulation, comparison visualizations or actually diving in into the detail of a given simulation, all of that makes it really engaging for any stakeholders you're conversing with.

That ability to slice and dice is absolutely key to that. And also just that ability to compare alternate futures. So to take what you know today, all of the evidence that you've collected, what you know about how you anticipate those assets to perform over time and using that through your lifecycle analysis, through the power of to ultimately compare those alternate futures.

And all of that, as we saw through those first three phases that Sally stepped through. Again, all of it is evidence based. So when you're having that conversation, when you're looking at those visualizations, you can immediately then dive back to this is what formulated those results. These are the actual audits on the ground, the lifecycle parameters, all of those things that have gone into the modeling is the science and the evidence behind that storytelling.

And so just to quickly focus on what those elements are, some of the key things that sit behind this are things like the asset component-ization, How do we go about components icing our ecological assets and understanding those service criteria so that we can generate types of analyzes and AM story that we need to tell? Sally, Step this through the assessment framework that was absolutely critical.

The time that we spent looking at how we would go about doing those assessments was key to the project's success. Ultimately, within that are those service criteria we were referring to before and our ability to introduce nontraditional type service criteria like those values based items. I was demonstrating earlier. Also, when we're going to intervene, how are we going to manage and maintain and rectify these assets over time?

Understood ending that lifecycle trajectory and your intervention points and ultimately to support the risk assessment side of things, understanding your consequences of failure for these respective assets. And Sally, step two through a very brief look at the risk analysis that was done as part of that framework. So the story it ultimately told at Sydney Olympic Park is that based on those results, genuine evidence based recommendations could be made on the preferred investment option.

And critically, looking at those different options that were on the table, we were able to recommend a preferred strategy that when you take of the overall lifecycle costs, you consider any deferred works and the risks that they posed. We could ultimately recommend a preferred strategy that had a comparable net net strategy cost as the current funding scenario. So looking at okay, overall, we're going to do more things, we're going to do them at different times, but it will give you that comparable net strategy cost.

So having done all of that, where it takes us is that for Sydney Olympic Park, they then had an asset management framework that enabled the integration of their ecological assets into their broader asset management processes and systems. And they had an amazing asset management plan that gives them the ability to demonstrate how they can sustainably deliver those levels of service across all of the different service items we were looking at earlier, how they're going to manage their risk and how they're going to drive that continual improvement in their portfolio over the next 20 years.

Ultimately, where we believe that positions us is that each time we rise to this challenge, we further push the evolution of strategic asset management being applied to ecological assets. And we need to do that because they do provide those essential services that Sally tapped into earlier. And we need to make sure that whatever strategic asset management systems, processes and practices we apply to our ecological assets, that they're appropriate, they're sustainable and they cost effective terms of that management process.

Also, again, as I pointed out a moment ago, it helps to drive us forward as a fraternity, as practitioners, as whether you come from the ecological assets, subject matter expertise or whether you come to this as an AMM practitioner. It allows us to evolve those frameworks so that we can accommodate those ecological asset needs now and we can make sure that we realize their value into the future.

And we know that we're always going to face fiscal constraints. So the sooner we can do this, the sooner we can develop the type of understanding that we step through today that more easy it's going to be for us to cost effectively maintain these systems over time and avoid the trap of falling into a really high cost rectification because we've let them go too far.

And ultimately to do that, it needs to be supported by the practical tools, the guidelines and the capacity building that we've been talking through today. So in summary, as a more general point or a general set of points, what we wanted to highlight as well is that really some of the key project highlights out of this project over and over and above just where it takes us in terms of ecological assets is actually the strength of multidisciplinary collaboration, bringing together the expertise that each to design the subject matter expertise with the team at Sydney Olympic Park and our own strategic asset management capabilities of brightly really resulted in an amazing project outcome.

And so I really want to reinforce the value of that multidisciplinary collaboration. The second thing is ultimately then taking that and tapping into that science and art of AM storytelling, using the tools and the skills that we have available within the fraternity to really tell that compelling story, to really demonstrate in simple and clear terms why we need to make the decisions that we need to and what the consequences are of each of those decisions that we do make.

Ultimately, where that takes us and pardon me for the cliche, but it's really the power of what's possible. That's what it boils down to. There's amazing work that can be now transferred to any one psychological asset portfolio, but also these same principles and practices are equally transferable across any particular portfolio. So with that in mind, folks, I wanted to thank you for listening to Sell Illinois.

And at this point I'll hand back over to Andy to take us through the Q&A session. Thank you. Thank you, David. Thank you, Sally. Sally, do you want to come back into the webinar, the presentation that would be useful? We actually got about six or seven questions to go through. We'll take them in order. Sally I think they're mainly aimed at your expertise, so here we go.

I'll read them out and then maybe David and Sally could both comment. So first of all, Bridget asks, Bridget asks, Should natural ecological assets financial value against them? And if so, how do you determine the value? Yes, very good question. And I don't know if it's a yes or no answer really for for so I thought we didn't actually go about valuing each individual asset.

And there are some tools available to use that are emerging to be able to put actual financial values against these ecological assets. And they often end up being very high, high values. So there is a tool that was developed by the Corporate Research Center for Water Sensitive Cities, and it's called the Infuse Tool, which stands for Investment Framework for Economics of Water Sensitive Cities.

And it was developed by economists and it also has an associated benefit cost tool available as well. And that sets up both a framework and tool whereby you can identify the primary benefits or values of your ecological assets and go about applying some some values to those, which is really useful if you are trying to develop a business case.

So so there are some emerging tools we we can go about it but you don't, you don't necessarily need to to be able to recognize these systems as assets and develop a strategic asset management plan for them. Thanks, Sally. So the next question is from Alison. Probably again, another for you, Sally, how do you envisage management of ecological assets will change with the rollout of the Task Force on nature related financial disclosures in the next year?

Yeah, that's an interesting one. And I'm look, I'm certainly not going to claim I'm fully across the that framework, but from my, from my understanding it's recognizing both risk as well as opportunities. And I think I just say that potentially, you know, recognizing these ecological assets and putting them into a strategic management framework allows you to both have transparency around the potential risks on the condition of those assets and that those assets could present to your infrastructure, but also enables you to identify how you are managing that risk appropriately for those assets.

Sorry. So yeah, I think it potentially provides a mechanism for for, for demonstrating the intent of of this this new framework. Thank you, Sally. A question from Ralph. One of the one of the barriers to good ecological asset management is an inability to ensure the living elements of the assets, e.g. water plants. Departments are more reluctant to accept to manage assets.

They cannot ensure any solutions in this regard that you are aware of. And in terms of that's like ensuring the longevity of the plants I imagine the question is you read it that way. I read it slightly differently. Maybe Ralph could come back and draw a clarification in the interview into the question box and we'll come back to that.

Now, let's not go back to that one. Yeah, I'll just have a look at the insurer and insurer in terms of insuring insurance insurer. I think that's the classic case. There's no evidence that. Okay, yeah, why don't we come back to that one, get a clarification from Ralph. If he's still online, we'll move on to the next question.

Will circle back to that one. Some asks what was some of the data inputs within the criticality framework that could then be applied to the assets to help set priorities? And David, you could probably come into this one as well. Yes. Well, from our perspective, in looking at critical criticality, an example would have been for some of these mangrove and saltmarsh assets, there were areas of those ecological assets which were in poor condition, and that's where there was with dieback of the vegetation, and that was because of poor drainage and sorry, one of the items identified as necessary was improving drainage to reduce waterlogging to support the plants and also to reduce mosquito habitat.

Now that that was identified as is being pretty cool. So having effective drainage was given a the right sort of criticality score if you like, because if you don't address that poor drainage, it would result in the loss of more plants and the dieback of that vegetation. And so if you had poor condition coupled with poor drainage, which was a critical factor, then it would be prioritized as a high priority maintenance action to address.

And I think that's a great example of the fact that it very much varied across the different asset types. And there was also the class structure that was applied to these assets as well. So given the fact that we were able to assess those multiple criteria, it very much depended on how many different elements of those service levels were being addressed by the respective asset or the respective components and what those likely impacts which were to be together with also the interface to the public and other elements like that.

So no simple answer, but very much a case of a complex set of interrelated elements and the more of those things impacted, the more criticality was was assessed or the higher criticality, I should say. Thank you. So Geoff asks, Was there success in getting the level of funding deemed as required for RECTIFICATIONS? And what do you think were the main reasons for success or failure in doing so?

So I think this points to, you know, how successful was cyber, you know, in using these programs of work that we put together. Yeah, well, how this was so successful is that it actually gave them the numbers they needed to know, sorry, understanding they, you know, how much funding they actually need needed on an annual basis to keep up with regular maintenance.

But also the budget that was required for rectification works on a rolling program as well. That's information that they didn't know to start with. But not only having that information on hand, but having this resource which demonstrates why that was, that funding was so important and identifying the values and and the the potential risks of of not securing appropriate funding.

So it really just gave them leverage. It gave them the the numbers that they needed or to try to target, but also the reasons why and how that was built up. So important for communication. Thanks, Sally. Moving on and Alison asks regarding the assessment framework, do you use a publicly available condition assessment framework and is it recommended for an expert e.g. an ecologist?

And is it your sorry, is it recommended for an expert? Is undertaking assessments or is is this accessible to general managers? So the question is about the condition assessment framework. You apply. Yeah, I guess the framework was set up so that aligned with all I so all the standards around asset management. So for example, the scoring around condition was from 1 to 5.

However, the criteria around the condition assessment was very much informed by the ecological and hydrologic knowledge and those inspections and working with the team from the ground as well. So I think the way undertaking the condition assessments could be something that was handed on after that initial condition assessments and the frameworks and the criteria are developed and bedded down by ecologists or experts in those ecological systems.

And there's some capacity building that goes with that. Yeah, so that's the question. So I think getting getting the systems and processes and sharing the knowledge up front is really important to involve the experts in asset management and ecology and hydrology, but it doesn't mean that they would always need to be engaged moving forward. Yeah, and it's fair to say that with that is one of the iterative processes that I was referring to.

So there was a lot of discussion that was held between the two team and the brightly team around how to structure that assessment and then which elements would be assessed and how would how would they contribute to the type of lifecycle analyzes and costing and stuff like that. So and certainly in my own personal experience outside of purely the Soper project, typically once you've got those kind of supporting materials that Sally showcased in, in Section three of the presentation, so long as you build that capacity, as Sally said, there are a number of elements that can be assessed by your normal, for want of a better term in-house teams.

But there will always be some very specialized elements that ultimately would need to have the appropriate expertise, supply Thank you. Now, David, one for you. We can give Sally a rest for a few seconds. This is about opening up the the bonus and having a look at predict. So the question from Gazelle is I have a question around introducing the ESG straight sustainability targets into predictor.

Have you introduced them as service levels and or in the criticality and consequence in risk area impact? Yeah. So the simple answer to that, so we can get quite complex across the various asset types that we address at Sydney Olympic Park. But the simple and brief answer is it actually contributes in both. So they are in there as individual service criteria so that the impact on those can be understood as service level outcomes, but also in terms of the consequences of failure and the risks that are embodied with each of those assets.

Very similar to that earlier question as they had more impacts across different service levels, then that was going to increase the potential consequences of failure and therefore fit into the risk outcomes as well. So we're running out of time. We looked at four questions to get through, so we'll kind of do it quickfire, I think, from this point onwards.

So Liz asks, who are the sort of who are the sort of people with the skills to tell the asset management story through visual data presentation, e.g. like your wetland level service, like Sally. So very quickly, can we just talk a little bit about, you know, telling the story? What are your thoughts on that, understanding the audience? So who is the audience that you're telling the story to and having a very clear storyline and linking it back to what's important for those ecological assets.

Thank you. Is that too quick? That's that is good. Get inside. We got Leanne. Absolutely. Gasol asks, asks how do you model the funding that is required for a optimized environmental sustainable scenario and how different is that with the other model funding scenarios? Dave You want to pick the one up? Yes. So yes, we did. And in those visualizations we were looking at across those three scenarios, one represented current rectification, funding and the issue there is that a lot of the funding was just going to normal day by day maintenance.

The two others that you saw that were much more closely tracking in terms of risk and service level outcomes where essentially the desired level of service outcome. If you had all the money in the world versus what ultimately became the recommended strategy, which was just a little bit less than that, something that met or balanced those fiscal constraints and the service level outcomes.

Thank you. And Sally, just returning to Ralph's question about ensuring you can ensure your assets, then the organization doesn't really care about them, I think was the theme there. Ralph says ensuring the plans for stop. The only plans we have insurance for are pine forests or pine plantations. We are not able to get insurance for our water plans in wizard assets.

Any thoughts on this one? Insurance? No. I have heard there is some mangrove wetlands that have been insured in Australia. Not included assets though I guess there is the ecological assets, the stormwater management treatment systems which do need ongoing maintenance to help sustain those plans. Sorry, I think it's more about making sure you've got funding and you're actually undertaking monitoring and maintenance of those systems to make sure that they're functioning appropriately and, and, and the, you know, the plants are alive and doing, doing their part in water treatment.

And very quickly just sorry the the the previous question around the levels of service and and wetlands that image I showed from Logan, we worked closely with landscape architects to develop that visualization. And that's because it was going to be a community communication piece, including communication with councilors. And that's why having it very visual was important.

Yes, thank you. Thank you. So so last question again for you, Sally. We talked about the iterative of this project. And the question from Jane is, have did you have you adjusted your assessment criteria based upon the results it produced? So just go back and see what the methods, etc.. We developed up the the assessment forms. We ran through a variety of different asset types and then we did refine them slightly and optimize the forms to make sure I was capturing all the information we wanted before we finished the audits of all 158 assets.

So it was definitely testing those assessment forms and making sure they all fit for purpose. Those particular assets for say thank you and just click okay. Hopefully on that day. You know, I was just going to say just really quickly on that point, I think the key thing is then also that there were a number of things that we learned as a team.

And as you move into other organizations and other environments, you apply those learnings as you go. So it's a constantly evolving framework and that's really a key area that that we want to ensure continues. You. Thank you, guys. So look, let me wrap up the session and great session. Thank you. See you both. So what did we learn today?

We've learned that we really need to bring environments and the asset teams together and to make sure that their asset management practices are in sync and not in conflict. And what we've also learned is that historically, ecological asset management has sat on the fringe of asset management, but it's now time to bring natural assets into the future. Planning for financial sustainability alongside a civil, mechanical, electrical and other asset types.

So if you'd like more information about this topic, leave a note against that email icon or outside of this session, you know, drop a message to the three of us through our LinkedIn profiles. We're happy to take your questions or comments or requests for information. So if you find this session useful, my name is Ansible anti bolts and if you've not found this session useful, my name is David.

Then the next event in the series is Maintenance Management on the 4th of May. That will hopefully see you there. And I will thank you for your attendance and we'll see you later. Thank you.