Maintenance and Operation of Assets

On behalf of the Commonwealth of Australia the National Capital Authority undertakes asset management for some of the national capital's most culturally significant landscapes and national attractions, including:

  • The Parliamentary Zone (excluding the Parliamentary Precincts)
  • Commonwealth and Kings Parks, including Blundells Cottage and the National Carillon;
  • Acton Peninsula
  • Lake Burley Griffin including the Captain Cook Memorial Jet and Scrivener Dam;
  • Anzac Parade and its memorials;
  • Old Parliament House Gardens;
  • National Rose Gardens;
  • National Gallery of Australia Sculpture Garden;
  • Native grasslands of Yarramundi Reach; and
  • Remnant woodland on Stirling Ridge.

Most assets are maintained under competitively tendered contracts.

In managing national assets in the capital, the Authority aims to ensure that maintenance and other practices are consistent with the design intent and support the objectives of the National Capital Plan.

The Authority seeks to ensure that design and construction respond to the practical needs of the National Capital, and that full life-cycle costs are considered in the development stages. Most assets are maintained under competitively tendered contracts.

Memorials, fountains and artworks

Management of national memorials, fountains and artworks involves the care of key features within landscape areas of the National Capital. These include the memorials on Anzac Parade, King George V Memorial, the Federation Centenary Fountains, and memorials and artworks in Commonwealth Park and Kings Park. In all, the Authority manages and maintains more than 100 of these structures throughout the city.

The Authority has set maintenance standards and benchmarks for the management of these significant assets, taking into account their intrinsic artistic and heritage values.

Open space management

The Authority is the custodian of some of the nation's most significant cultural landscapes, including the Old Parliament House Gardens, the National Rose Garden, the National Gallery of Australia Sculpture Garden, the native grasslands of Yarramundi and the remnant woodland on Stirling Ridge. The maintenance of these areas is contracted to several private sector firms.

Some of these areas are heavily utilised for events and ceremonies.

Buildings Maintenance

The Authority administers a contract for the maintenance of buildings on National Land. These include the National Capital Exhibition building, Commonwealth Place, the National Carillon and Blundells Cottage, as well as leased premises such as the Lobby Restaurant, National Portrait Gallery Annex, Waters Edge restaurant, Reconciliation Australia offices and buildings at Acton Peninsula and Commonwealth Park. Minor structures, such as public toilets, bush shelters and electrical substations, are also maintained under the contract.

Civil Infrastructure Maintenance

Civil infrastructure assets are maintained through a number of contractors. These assets include roads, car parks, bridges, stormwater systems, street lighting, pumping systems, and the Captain Cook Memorial jet. In addition, signs, park features and play equipment are also managed and maintained.

Lake Burley Griffin

Lake Burley Griffin is the centrepiece to the setting of the National Capital. Administration of the lake is governed by the Lakes Ordinance 1976.

The Authority concentrates on protecting the quality of the water and promoting greater and more use of the lake, within heritage management guidelines.

Lake Burley Griffin and Scrivener Dam are managed and maintained through service delivery contracts competitively tendered.

A licensing and charging scheme for the abstraction of water for irrigation was introduced on 1 July 2001. This is in accord with the reforms to water management in Australia under the 1994 Council of Australian Governments agreement.

The fish management program for the lake comprises biennial monitoring of the fish population and stocking of fish. The objective is to maintain a balanced ecosystem containing native predatory species such as Murray Cod and Golden Perch, and to maintain a mixed recreational fishery.

Aquatic plants, though serving an important role in the lake's ecology, can interfere with recreational activities. The Authority monitors and controls excessive plant growth in the lake.

As part of the lake's environmental management, water is routinely tested for physical, chemical and biological characteristics and analysed for compliance with the National Water Quality Guidelines (Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality 2000). This testing includes monthly sampling from the centre of the lake at designated points, weekly microbiological monitoring on recreational beaches, and algae monitoring by visual observation and laboratory tests.

The Authority also administers powerboats, moorings, major events and various other matters associated with use of the lake.

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