MARKET PULSE: The sounds and smells of garbage trucks doing their early morning rounds will be a distant memory in Maroochydore with the Sunshine Coast city to construct the first CBD-wide underground automated waste collection system (AWCS) in Australia.

John Knaggs, chief executive of SunCentral, the company overseeing design and delivery of the new 53-hectare city centre, said the foundations of this new CBD would be unlike those of any other Australian city centre.

“We will have three separate conduits for NBN Co., Telstra and the new CBD’s dedicated smart city fibre optic network, as well as the first CBD-wide underground automated waste collection system in Australia,” Mr Knaggs said.

About 1.7 kilometres of AWCS pipes will be laid beneath the CBD, enabling waste to be transported underground at speeds of up to 70km an hour to a central transfer station.

The first stage of the civil works program will cost $25 million and is expected to create more than 150 jobs in the construction and professional services sectors over a 12-month period. The works include new roads, footpaths, cycleways, lighting, parks and landscaping.

Over the longer term, the new CBD is expected to create more than 15,000 jobs and provide a $4.4 billion boost for the Sunshine Coast economy.

In a report, The Activated City: Imagining the Sunshine Coast in 2040, which was released last month, demographer Bernard Salt predicted 550,000 people would live on the Sunshine Coast by 2040. The key growth triggers were the expanded airport, the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital, a proposed light rail project and the new Maroochydore CBD.

New course to wipe out “cowboys”

Strata managers are queueing to enrol in the first-ever tertiary-level qualifications for Australian strata property professionals.

Strata Community Australia (SCA) launched the A100: Introduction to Strata Community Title and the Certificate IV in Strata Community Management in partnership with the RMIT in February and, according to SCA chief executive officer Kim Henshaw, demand is high and the waiting list for the second intake is growing.

“Such is the competitive advantage of having these qualifications that the second intake of students for the Certificate IV is almost full,” he said.

With more than seven million Australians now living in apartments and units, the peak industry body for body corporate and community title management believes the professional overhaul is long overdue.

Henshaw said strata managers were in effective control of multi-million dollar assets, and those who manage multiple properties can possess huge financial portfolios.

“As it currently stands in most regions, anyone can become a strata manager, without needing any training whatsoever, and that’s opened the door to some rogue operators joining the fray and looking to take advantage of their position,” he said.

Henshaw says it’s been encouraging to see so many managers voluntarily take the courses.

“Just like SCA membership they represent a commitment to doing the right thing by apartment and unit owners, and that has become a competitive advantage,” he said.

While Henshaw believes the courses should be mandatory for the industry, it’s a decision each state and territory government will need to make.

“Something we have pushed for as an organisation for some time has been the licensing of all strata managers, and we are hopeful of seeing this happen one day,” he said.

Global FM standard launched

The International Standards Organisation (ISO) has formally recognised the facility management profession with the introduction of its first two international standards.

The ISO 267 Facility Management Committee has published:

  • ISO 41011 Facility management – Vocabulary
  • ISO 41012 Facility management – Guidance on strategic sourcing and the development of agreements

Facility Management Association of Australia chief executive officer Nic Burt said the 41000 series of standards (as they are now officially known) will define the industry and deliver a more consistent approach.

“It can no longer be said that facilities management has no standard or consistency worldwide,” he said. “The standards mark the first step forward to recognising the profession by a well-respected international body.”

More than 42 countries joined the effort with FMA working with Standards Australia for three years to ensure that FM in Australia was well represented. Members have operated as technical advisors and facilitated representatives from across the industry, including the Property Council, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and Tertiary Education Facility Management Association.

The global FM market is worth US$1.12 trillion, according to an International Facility Management Association (IFMA) and Global FM study released last year. Data for individual countries across six regions supports the claim that FM is a dynamic industry poised for incredible growth. IFMA president and chief executive Tony Keane said the most compelling visions of the future included smart buildings and cities that required smart professionals to run them.

Burt said a FMA national roadshow will ensure industry members are across the standard and the work which is continuing to develop additional standards for the industry.

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