The CLC owns and manages a substantial fleet of vehicles, including four-wheel drives and all-terrain vehicles, trailers and trucks. The fleet management strategy ensures vehicles are reliable, safe, suitably equipped and prepared for remote staff travel. It also aims to maximise availability and repair/maintenance downtime. The majority of the vehicle fleet is replaced every three years, depending on use, which minimises the whole-of-life-cycle costs. By that time, remote operational vehicles reach their optimal age and maintenance expenditure escalates.
BDO Data Analytics commenced a comprehensive review of the CLC’s Stuart Highway fleet in 2018. The consultants used vehicle booking and GPS tracking data to model fleet movements. Building on two years of data, they analysed factors influencing vehicle availability. The analysis continues to inform fleet investment decisions and identify areas for improvement. Staff booking practices significantly impact on vehicle availability and are being targeted for improvement. The size of the Stuart Highway fleet will meet current demand if booking practices improve.
Land and buildings management
After some commissioning delays, the 350-kilowatt rooftop solar array at the Stuart Highway office started operating in March 2020. In its first months, the system showed a significant reduction of grid energy use. This was reflected in lower electricity expenditure and increased contribution to renewable energy targets. The Power and Water Corporation’s requirements included a cloud camera to control energy demand from the town grid. When the camera detects clouds, it reduces solar energy production and increases the amount of power drawn from the grid, preventing a rapid spike in demand for mains electricity when an unexpected cloud bank appears.
Tangentyere Constructions completed the new CLC office in Kalkaringi in November 2019. The facility offers a modern office with an undercover meeting space, and two accommodation units for visiting staff. The buildings were partially constructed in Alice Springs, facilitating quality control and access to trades as well as reducing construction waste in the community.
The CLC has progressed plans for new ranger sheds and visiting staff accommodation units at Willowra and Nyirrpi. Construction is programmed to commence in the second half of 2020.
Two projects in Mutitjulu, new staff accommodation, and an upgrade of the CLC office cannot progress until Parks Australia, which manages essential services in the community, reviews the current and projected demands on power, sewerage and water services. The delay means CLC staff continue to live in poor quality and shortterm housing and cannot hold effective meetings, consolidate the ranger group operations, nor provide visiting colleagues with secure accommodation.