Bayside Council to spend $9.2 million upgrading its fleet

Bayside Council will accelerate the replacement program for its ageing fleet of vehicles left over from the former Botany Bay Council.

The United Services Union wrote to Bayside Council in January after concerns about the vehicles, some of which were only being held together by tape.

At the time council estimated it would cost around $7 million and four years to replace the vehicles.

However, during the April council meeting Administrator Greg Wright resolved to accelerate the program at a cost of $9.2 million.

The extra cost came after a review of the fleet found extra vehicles needed to be replaced.

The new approach would see all plant and light commercial vehicles replaced over a 15 month period.

The extra funds would come from a $3 million surplus from the former Rockdale Council which was transferred to the strategic priorities reserve. 

The rest would be made up from $4.4 million from councils plant reserve and $1.6 million from the current capital budgets.

A report presented to council found that under the previous replacement program only 13 units, or six per cent of the fleet, would be bought this year.

At that rate it would take an extra 10 years to fully replace the fleet. 

The report also revealed the results of the audit completed after the amalgamation on the former Botany Bay Council Plant and Light Commercial fleet.

The audit found that the average age of the fleet was significantly above 10 years which is outside the industry standard.

It found a large number of the vehicles were no longer in production which caused excessive delays in sourcing replacement parts.  

Bayside Council Administrator Greg Wright said staff had welcomed the news.

“A more focussed approach to asset maintenance and renewal can only lead to improvements in community facilities and to the services that the council delivers to its community,’’ he said.

“This fleet renewal will bring better safety to the former Botany staff and better efficiency for their operations.”

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