Who do I contact?
When considering seeking permission to use facilities on the premises of an existing school, it is recommended that contact is made with the school in the first instance to discuss a potential use and then meet with the Principal
to present the proposal in more detail.
The Department of Education’s Schools Online portal directs the public to a complete
directory of public schools, with associated contact details and addresses. It is recommended the local school is contacted when exploring opportunities for community and shared use of facilities on the premises of an existing
Planning shared use
The development and use of shared facilities must be supported by comprehensive joint use agreements that establish operational and management roles and define responsibilities for capital and operating recurrent cost contributions.
Planning for shared use
The development and use of new shared infrastructure at new schools and co-located open space projects requires well considered and informed early forward planning, whereas shared use of existing school facilities can be immediate
and subject to the agreed terms and conditions of use.
Early collaborative planning is central for ensuring the best possible service and infrastructure outcomes, delivery timelines and return on the significant shared investments.
The guiding principles and key considerations of this approach include:
When planning schools and community facilities, government and community participation is essential during the planning and design process.
Consideration 1: Community and government participation
Planning of government schools by the Department of Education can often occur well in advance of the development of schools, with long lead times in excess of, in some cases, 15 years or more.
Future school sites are identified in the planning process framework as a response to the lot yield of development and at a frequency prescribed by various statutory documents, including Development Control Policy DC 2.4 and
Livable Neighbourhoods: Element 8.
Generally, there is one primary school for every 1,500 lots and one secondary school for every 7,000 lots with a servicing cluster of four primary schools. Primary schools, where possible, are located at the centre of their
catchment or local intake areas. It is preferred that secondary schools are also central to the applicable local intake area.
It is during this process that school sites and public open space are ideally co-located in response to the strategic community service provisions of local government, which also requires considerable lead times to plan and
secure sufficient infrastructure for future communities.
With the development of new schools, community consultation generally occurs at the procurement and delivery phase, which for primary schools begins two years before opening and with secondary schools it’s three years.
Community participation occurs at the master planning and schematic design stages of a new school project in the form of the Project Consultation Group (PCG) that comprises of at least one member of the future school community
and one Principal from a neighbouring school.
With major infrastructure projects at existing schools, generally a member of the School Council or the Parents & Citizens Association is represented on the PCG. In most cases, the schematic design of a new school
or major refurbishment or replacement project at an existing school is formally presented at a community meeting.
When a school project involves co-located shared playing fields and facilities, it is recommended that forward planning is coordinated with the local government and direct liaison occurs with recreation and facilities planners.
A primary school is currently designed to the Department of Education’s standard pattern format and prescriptive brief and generally has a generic layout and footprint of buildings and facilities located on the site.
Therefore, within that constraint there is limited opportunity to significantly change the layout but with sufficient scope to make all buildings and facilities available for community use.
When primary schools are co-located with community facilities there is sufficient flexibility in the master planning process to integrate the school design particularly with shared ovals including for example, positioning car
parks that can be shared by the school and the community.
With secondary school designs, the Department of Education is yet to establish a standard pattern design or layout. There’s a descriptive brief that outlines individual room requirements.
There’s sufficient scope within the design to locate buildings that can potentially have high value community use, for example a performing arts centre, along the various street frontages of the site to maximise community
Other facilities such as the library that could be used shared as both a community and school asset, is generally positioned centrally to the school and possibly located on the floor above the café. If the library is
to be used as a community facility then it will need to be positioned on a street frontage for seamless community access.
When schools are co-located with shared open space and supporting community facilities then it is highly recommended that a facilities planner from the applicable local government authority is invited onto the PCG to ensure
constructive and cooperative planning of shared facilities.
Both primary and secondary schools have a variety of general and special purpose rooms and spaces that could potentially meet community infrastructure needs.
However, early community involvement, including that of the local government will add value to informing a schools design that achieves a higher level of community benefit, functionality and serviceability.
Consideration 2: Infrastructure needs
Local governments conduct extensive research and consultation with community and sporting groups when preparing their Integrated Community Planning plans to incorporate community infrastructure and assets. A number of key
indicators will also be applied in the forward planning process of infrastructures needs including:
- Socio economic and cultural factors.
- Financial and resource capacity planning.
- Age and demographics.
- Population census data and future growth projections.
- Range of sports and activities and associated specific requirements.
- Audit of existing facilities that can be complemented or replaced by new or upgraded infrastructure.
This analysis is used to potentially align future needs with infrastructure provisions planned accordingly in response to projected outcomes.
In regard to playing fields, many local governments are developing generic footprints that cater for a multitude of sports giving greater flexibility for a range of current and future users. These are planned at a local,
district and regional level and respond to community need for a full range of nature, recreation and sporting open space uses.
Traditionally, playing fields were planned in response to specific sporting needs demonstrated by clubs and sports already active or developing within a locality. These clubs traditionally would focus towards oval sports
(cricket and AFL), rectangular sports (soccer and rugby codes) or diamond sports (baseball and softball). In response, a local government would plan to develop a facility significantly catering for training and completion
fields built to dimensions suitable for the required level of competition.
On the other hand infrastructure needs and accommodation schedules at schools are determined by education service delivery models and school curriculum and standards set by both State and Federal education agencies.
Infrastructure location and facilities provided ensures communities and schools have access to a broad range of assets that meet the strategic needs of all stakeholders.
Consideration 3: Location and facilities
The location of community infrastructure is determined by the size of catchment areas and the distribution of population they service. Generally, community facilities will be centralised at the local, district and regional
level or located as required along major transport movement routes.
In some cases, ideally infrastructure may be best located at local government boundaries where the catchment area for a particular facility of size and functionality overlaps and traverses two local government areas. The
local authorities may have jointly planned and funded (subject to the State legislation and Ministerial approval) such a facility that derives the greatest benefit for the recipient communities.
Community facilities may comprise multiple active playing fields with associated recreation or nature spaces and ancillary service infrastructure such as clubrooms, change rooms, public toilets, recreation and aquatic centres
and community centres.
Community centres can offer a range of spaces and meeting rooms that can be utilised by community groups associated with schools in complementary activities.
Generally, community facilities are built to a higher performance and dimensional standard than school facilities. In some cases there are opportunities for local governments or other agencies to assist in expanding school
facilities to deliver greater community benefit.
The provision of schools, as outlined previously, is determined by the lot yield of the particular locality catchment area. Primary schools are generally located at the centre of the applicable catchment area.
Centralising primary schools is supported by the statutory planning framework principles of walkable and accessible catchment arcs and boundaries.
Factors that may determine a school’s location non-central to a catchment area is an opportunity to co-locate with public open space, the proximity to transport routes and preferred integration with a neighbourhood
centre. The Department of Education considers this on a case-by-case basic ensuring that the education services and outcomes can still be effectively and efficiently delivered.
In the case of new generic design primary schools, infrastructure suitable for community purposes includes:
- General purpose learning areas.Specialist learning areas, including art and music classrooms.
- All-weather covered assembly area with canteen to minimum commercial kitchen standard.
- Library and resource centre.
- General purpose meeting/conference room adjacent to the staff room.
- Junior AFL football oval.
- Central cricket pitch and two cricket practice nets generally attached to the hard courts and directed towards the oval (on an alignment cognisant of the arc position of the sun).
- Multi-marked hard courts (two).
- Various car parking areas located along street frontages around the site.
Whilst typically provided at all primary schools, playground equipment is generally located in areas of new schools that are contained within the internal lockdown fencing perimeter and are only available to the community
after hours when approved activities are conducted within the lockdown.
In an emerging trend, primary schools are increasingly being identified as suitable sites for a range of important government and community service infrastructure including child and family centres, dental therapy clinics,
clinical nurse offices and parent centres. These maybe provided where the highest need has been identified or in accord with a specific plan for service delivery.
Whilst it is preferred that secondary schools are central to their catchment it is not essential. There can be shared benefits when secondary schools are co-located with local, district, neighbourhood or regional open space
or local activity centres and along major transport routes.
As for primary schools, site attributes that limit the development of a secondary school site may determine where a site is to be finally located. In most cases, a secondary school is best located with significant open
space and playing fields to facilitate senior recreation and sporting spaces.
New secondary schools also have a standard infrastructure provision suitable for community use that includes:
- General purpose learning areas.
- Specialist learning areas, including art and music classrooms, design and materials technology classrooms and workshops and food technology classrooms.
- Performing arts centre.
- All-weather sports hall with change rooms and toilets.
- Café with commercial standard kitchen.
- Library and resource centre.
- General purpose meeting/conference room adjacent to the staff room or library.
- Senior AFL football/cricket oval and rectangular sporting pitch.
- Central cricket pitch and two cricket practice nets generally attached to the hard courts and directed towards the oval.
- Eight multi-marked hard courts.
- Various car parking areas located along street frontages around the site.
Whilst all secondary schools contain science laboratories, these are not made available to the community because of occupational health and safety issues and the requirement for compliant and qualified supervision.
By reviewing facilities provisions and their locations against community and educational needs, local governments and the Department of Education can arrange and prepare agreements and governance models that derive the
greatest benefit to all stakeholders and participants.
Consideration 4: Agreements and governance
When the Department of Education and local governments decide to pursue shared arrangements to jointly develop or share resources and facilities then those arrangements should be confirmed by agreements that outline contributions,
roles and responsibilities and models and methods of governance and operational requirements.
Agreements can be in the form of a memorandum of understanding (MOU), a licence agreement or a lease agreement. The terms and conditions of all Understandings and Agreements should clearly define the details and structure
of the governance models and methodologies for successfully managing the joint development and use of school and community based infrastructure.
While an MOU is not a legally binding document, it is a useful instrument for confirming stakeholder commitment to the principles of jointly developing or sharing infrastructure, facilities and resources. An MOU can
be applied across a whole local government area or applied to individual schools or community and public open space sites.
Licences detail agreements particularly for the use of shared facilities and the recurrent costs associated with maintaining, managing and operating the facilities as identified in individual agreements. Likewise, leases
detail agreements to physically occupy property that may have a specific shared use over and above normal or intended operational capacity.
The Department adopts three types of agreements, summarised as follows:
Written permission for use of property vested in the Minister for Education
This is a simple agreement intended for incidental and infrequent users of the facilities and resources available on school property that is deemed suitable for community use. The Principal has delegated authority to authorise
this agreement under the terms and conditions as outlined in the Policy and Legislation section.
Licence for use of property vested in the Minister for Education
This agreement is intended for not-for-profit organisations, regular and more frequent users of school property, which may wish to secure long term activities
that maybe delivering scheduled or timetabled services or conducting daily or weekly activities with students and/or members of the community. Again, the Principal has delegated authority to authorise this agreement under
the terms and conditions as outlined in the Policy and Legislation section. For licence periods that exceed two (2) years, only the Minister for Education retains the authority to execute such an agreement.
Deed of licence agreement (non-community use)
The Department of Education prepared this Deed in response to a number of commercial entities, which are currently conducting profitable businesses on school sites. This is available at page
For example there is a growing demand to conduct non-recreational activities, such as farmers markets, in addition recreational activities, such as personal fitness instruction and boot camps, on school premises.
Whilst members of the community can buy produce from stall holders or pay fees for fitness classes, the agreed user, who is a party to the agreement, is essentially ‘non-community’ and potentially operating
a business well beyond the immediate community where the school is located.
The Principal has delegated authority to execute this agreement under the terms and conditions as outlined in the Policy and Legislation section. For licence periods that exceed two years, the Minister has sole authority
for executing a Deed.
Consideration 5: Maintenance and improvements
It is essential that facilities used by school students and members of the community are maintained to an appropriate standard and in strict compliance with all the current and applicable building, health and safety standards.
It is imperative that maintenance standards are set very early in the facilities planning process and the responsibility for maintenance, the structured and programmed regimes and benchmark standards are clearly established.
This ensures the facilities remain usable and functional at all times. The conventional facility management maintenance regimes include:
Breakdown repairs (or run to failure)
A breakdown is a sudden or unforeseen failure of infrastructure plant or equipment and is generally repaired urgently if it prevents the use of a facility.
Preventative (scheduled or corrective) maintenance
The conduct of systematic inspections and assessments prevents the premature failure of infrastructure, plant and equipment, thereby limiting breakdowns.
Intended to routinely address compliance with new standards and regulations or updates and amendments to existing ones, ensuring safe and healthy environments.
Repair or replacement, prior to breakdown, of building elements that are approaching or have exceeded expected life cycle periods.
Infrastructure, plant, equipment and service upgrades increase capacity to support new systems and technologies that improves functionality and utilisation.
It is imperative a detailed maintenance program plan is established which incorporates the intended users and operating hours of the shared facilities to avoid disrupting organised activities.
For example, it is recommended a local government oval shared with a school shouldn’t be mowed or sprayed during the normal operating hours of the school or during a scheduled sports carnival.
Equally, for example, it is recommended that school hard courts shared by a community netball club, shouldn’t be resurfaced or repaired during the netball season.
In all cases, common sense and the health and wellbeing of students and community members should prevail. It is also imperative that maintenance regimes and associated actions are addressed proactively and not reactively.
School facilities are maintained on behalf of the Department of Education of by BMW in accordance with applicable standards and within annual budgetary constraints. BMW devolve all school maintenance work to contracted
facilities managers, which arrange for head or sub-contractors to undertake all maintenance.
The Department of Education uses contracted cleaning and gardening staff and procures contracts for other grounds maintenance work such as mowing. It should be noted that some maintenance regimes at schools differ
in frequency from that of local government.
Local governments may have their own maintenance workforce, also equipped with the necessary plant and equipment. It is expected that maintenance of shared local government infrastructure, particularly playing fields,
occurs more frequently because community use is generally much higher than at a school-based facility.
To cope with a higher frequency of use, local government playing fields in particular are maintained to a much higher standard than school fields in compliance with public liability obligations and active sporting club
and association requirements.
A crucial component of any shared use agreement should include sufficient time for by all parties to carry out the necessary ongoing maintenance to shared facilities aligning with all standards, codes and regulations. The
life of facilities may be extended if accessibility, serviceability and functionality can be maintained to support regular and unencumbered use in an agreed level of use and serviceability.
Improvements could be in the form of an upgrade to the power supply and electrical services of a shared use facility to accommodate new information technologies or a mechanical plant and equipment replacement program. It
is critical that improvements are prioritised to address public welfare issues such as, for example, amendments to the Australian Glazing Standards that requires the replacement of all floor level glass with new compliant
Well maintained and regularly improved shared facilities will guarantee uninterrupted operations and utilisation rates that benefits communities and schools and maximises the return on government investments.
Consideration 6: Operations and utilisation
The operational management procedures of shared facilities must also be established well before those new or existing facilities commence operating. Booking protocols and regimes must be in place to provide both schools
and communities with certainty and understanding to ensure prioritised and pre-scheduled use delivers the desired educational, recreational and social outcome benefits.
Lines of communication between all facility stakeholders will be an important factor in achieving a high level of satisfaction between all users.
It is critical that joint arrangements achieve the best possible return on the considerable investment that all parties will be committing to. At the core of these arrangements, is the shared benefit of promoting and encouraging
physical activity and recreation directly within the school community and the broader community.
In order to justify potential investment it is helpful to have access to more information around the added value that the development of community sport and recreation infrastructure can bring to students and the broader
community, particularly the benefits of PE and sport to educational attainment and health in the community.
From a planning context, crucial matters need consideration to ensure the long term success of a shared use arrangement.
Build strong financial foundations
The long term viability of shared use facilities contained on both school sites and community open space will require a strong and stable financial foundation that should be both equitable and sufficient to sustain the
facilities. Capital cost commitments contained within the business case must ensure the shared facilities can be delivered to the required and agreed scope and standard.
There must also be adequate recurrent cost funding to ensure the facilities continue to be maintained to the highest possible standard and amenity to continue to attract committed users that will sustain the operation of
The extent and quantum of recurrent costs must be established well in advance of the permitted use of existing school and community facilities and the handover and activation of new shared facilities. The terms and conditions
of any joint agreement should confirm mechanisms that will calculate and quantify any cost increases generated by inflation or CPI adjustments due to increases in labour and material costs.
Build on experience
It is important that parties entering into joint arrangements draw on previous knowledge and experience gained from both within and without each other’s organisations during and after the delivery of completed projects
and executed agreements. Ongoing review of the performance, operation and management of shared facilities will enable continuous improvement and a proactive response to changing or increasing demands.
When engaging consultants to assist with the planning of shared facilities, it is critical that successful applicants demonstrate extensive experience with the design and delivery of community, school and shared facilities.
In the operation and management of shared facilities, there are specialist organisations that can advise on the efficient and effective function of leisure and recreation centres that may include shared components and areas.
Engaging and working with potential users can build long term partnerships that ensure the right blend of facilities are provided and they are utilised to maximum capacity. Suitable partners may include other government
agencies, local governments, sporting associations and clubs, community groups, not-for-profit organisations and in some cases commercial operators.
Potential partners will often be aware of the local community sport and recreation market within a given area and will be able to give advice on how the local school facilities could supplement or complement existing local
sporting and physical activity programs.
The information provided by partners will be crucial in developing an appropriate program and cost structure.
Sufficient capacity can be built by consolidating facilities or identifying specific facilities that can complement or supplement each other. A combination of facilities with varying levels of finish, size or amenity may
satisfy the community and the school’s current and future recreational needs.
Build on existing strengths
In most cases, it is unlikely facilities contained on a school site, in combination with facilities located on adjoining open space will be able to satisfy every community need or demand. If early planning is sound then
both facilities should respond to the demands that were determined at the time that forward planning was conducted.
Planning to include some flexibility will allow the facilities to respond to future changing demands. Particular sports that have both a school-based and a community-centred focus should underpin the main shared use activities,
with the facilities responding to support these priority activities.
Managing and maintaining shared use facilities
Maintaining facilities to an appropriate standard that supports continuous and safe use is a critical element in the orderly and responsible governance of shared use facilities either on school or open space sites.
The success or failure of shared facilities will be dependent on the arrangements that have been put in place that clearly outline the proportional contribution of each party or stakeholder to maintain functional and
usable facilities in order to provide a safe and healthy recreation environment.
Clearly defining and assigning the apportionment costs to the responsible parties will avoid conflict between the owners of the facilities and third party users or partners. Apportionment should be based on fairness
and equity and could be divided, for example, on the basis of a percentage of annual use or on the basis of the area of facility provided that is over and above the standard provision, particularly where facilities
are consolidated, enhanced or expanded.
The details of such arrangements must be established well in advance of and prior to the completion and operation of shared facilities to guarantee that good governance practices can be initiated once the facilities
are available for third party use.
Facility maintenance is one component of asset management. Effective asset management will ensure that the assets are managed and maintained effectively to support service delivery. Ordinarily asset management
decisions reside with the agencies that control or own the assets. It is important that the full costs of providing, operating and maintaining assets are reflected in budgets and business plans. Asset management
has cost implications for the facility owner and it is important the maintenance of shared use community facilities on school sites is recognised by local governments and community organisations contributing
to the cost.
Allowing for the full cost
In the initial phase of the project, the business case for shared community facilities should address and apportion the cost to each party of maintenance, including the full cost of maintenance and the future upgrade
of equipment, buildings or facilities. However, this has implications for the overall cost of a community facility and can act as a barrier to a project successfully acquiring capital and recurrent funding.
Facility maintenance and use definitions
The following definitions are used to describe the main components of a shared use facility which need to be addressed in determining costs attributable to individual user groups:
- Interior building envelope
- The interior envelope includes floors, drywall, paint, interior fixtures, gymnasium furnishings (goals, nets, rims, wall padding), cabinetry, appliances, duct work, sound systems, shades, doors, hardware,
alarm systems and IT systems.
- Exterior building envelope
- The exterior envelope is defined as the structural components of the building and includes roofs, walls, doors, hardware, windows and foundation. It also includes ceilings, insulation, electrical systems,
plumbing, HVAC, roofs and roof drainage systems and exterior lighting fixtures attached to the building.
- Custodial services/supplies
- Custodial services include the regular cleaning, supplies and upkeep of the facility and custodial services for set up/take down for special events. The level of service must meet the program capacity engaged
at the facility.
- Solid waste/recycling
- Includes the removal of rubbish and recycling items from identified areas to the appropriate disposal location.
- Litter clean-up
- Litter clean-up involves the removal or disposal of rubbish, debris and items left from events taking place at a shared facility as a consequence of non—education activities as agreed.
- Site lighting
- Site lighting maintenance is the necessary upkeep of all lighting associated with the facility including bulb replacement, fixture repair, painting and replacement if necessary.
- Shared use spaces
- Each shared use space is managed by the owner of the space.
- Mowing/landscaping operations
- The school site will be mown at frequencies prescribed in their assigned level of service, including any landscaping maintenance depending upon the impacts of shared use.
- Maintenance considerations
- The appearance of a facility, including its cleanliness will impact significantly on its use and capability. Surfaces, fittings, equipment, air conditioning and grounds need to be maintained regularly and
thoroughly by agreement with all parties. Where a facility is the subject of shared use it is particularly important to ensure all parties understand their obligations and ongoing maintenance commitments.
There’s a wide variation throughout Australia in how buildings and playing pitches are managed. In some instances the council/school assume full control for usage. In other cases the responsibility
for planning and overseeing usage is passed over to the user groups.
The table below suggests maintenance responsibilities for buildings and associated open space infrastructure.
Suggested maintenance responsibilities for building and associated open space infrastructure
|Main building frame, foundations, stumps, bearers, joists, brickwork etc||All damages by users.||Replacement/repair due to structural failure, storm damage, decay, insect attack or fair wear and tear.|
|Water||Service authorities/all damages by users.||Replacement/repairs due to fair wear and tear and tree root damage.|
|Sewerage||Service authorities/contractor. Blockages caused by user group activities.||Replacement/repairs due to fair wear and tear and tree root damage.|
|Gas||Service authorities/all damages by users.||Replacement/repairs due to fair wear and tear and tree root damage.|
|Electricity||Service authorities/all damages by users.||Replacement/repairs due to fair wear and tear.|
|Security||Cost of call outs||Monitoring and replacement/repairs due to fair wear and tear and equipment.|
|Telephone||Service authorities||Monitoring and replacement/repairs due to fair wear and tear and equipment.|
Drainage and plumbing
|Storm water and general drainage||All damages and blockages in waste pipes caused by user activities.||Blockages due to tree roots and subsidence. Replacement/repair due to fair wear and tear.|
|Guttering including down pipes||All damages caused by users.||Programmed cleaning and replacement/ repair due to fair wear and tear.|
|Internal blockages - sinks, toilets, etc||All damages caused by users.||Replacement/repair due to structural failure, storm damage or fair wear and tear.|
|Plumbing fixtures||All damages by users and blockages in waste pipes caused by user activities.||Replacement and repair due to malfunction or fair wear and tear, e.g. washers and leaking cisterns.|
|Gas heating including screen, flue, gas plumbing and hot water service.||All damages by user and cyclical.||Replacement/repair due to malfunction or fair wear and tear.|
|Fixtures (i.e. stove, exhaust/fan)||All damages by users.||Replacement/repair due to malfunction or fair wear and tear.|
|Wiring and fittings (i.e. power boards and switches||All damages by users.||All wiring from main supply and including the switchboard, light fittings and emergency lighting.|
|Portable appliances (i.e. kettle, toaster, fridge, microwave etc)||All damages by users.||Replacement/repair of fittings due to malfunction or fair wear and tear.|
|Lights (i.e. globes, bulbs, starters, tubes, diffusers and coverings)||All damages by users.||Replacement/repair of fittings due to globes, starters and diffusers.|
|Painting throughout (ceilings, walls, doors and internal frames)||All damages by users.||Full responsibility. Replacement/repair of fittings due to malfunction or fair wear and tear.|
|Insulation (walls, ceilings)||All damages by users.||Full responsibility.|
|Ceiling||All damages by users.||Replacement/repair of fittings due to malfunction or fair wear and tear.|
|Walls||All damages by users.||Replacement/repair of fittings due to malfunction or fair wear and tear.|
|Floor coverings (i.e. tiles, carpet etc)||All damages by users.||Replacement/repair of fittings due to malfunction or fair wear and tear including and if coverings become a trip hazard.|
|Exposed wooden floor coverings/sprung floors||All damages by users.||Sealing/polishing as required.|
Replacement of floor at the end of its useful life.
|Windows, frames, internal doors and door furniture||All damages by users (including glazing,Minor adjustments due to normal repairing holes etc) movement and replacement/repair due to fair wear and tear.||Minor adjustments due to normal movement and replacement/repair.|
|Wall tiles||All damages by users.||Replacement/repair due to fair wear and tear.|
|Cleaning||All damages by users.||Full responsibility.|
|Smoke detectors||All damages by users.||Replacement of batteries (6 monthly).|
Replacement of hard wired smoke alarms due to malfunction or fair wear and tear.
|Emergency lighting||All damages by users.||Full responsibility.|
|Glass||Keep clean and replacement of damage due by users||Replacement of external breakages to vandalism.|
|Airconditioning and evaporative cooling||All damages by users.||Replacement/repair due to malfunction or fair wear and tear.|
|Furniture, equipment and shelving||Negotiated responsibility.||Negotiated responsibility.|
|Curtains and blinds||Negotiated responsibility.||Negotiated responsibility.|
|Built-in cupboards, benches, drawers and doors||All damages by users.||Replacement/repair due to fair wear and tear (through council’s/school's cyclical renewal program).|
|Coat pegs, towel rails, soap and paper towel dispensers, toilet roll holders, partition walls, mirror and toilet seats||All damages by users.||Replacement/repair due to fair wear and tear.|
|Exterior lights on buildings (security lights, floodlights (excluding sports ground training lights)||General domestic globe replacement.||Replacement/repair due to fair wear and tear and malfunction (including replacement of external security globes).|
|Windows, frames and door framework (including glass, fly screens, blinds and security screens)||All damages by users.||Minor adjustment due to normal building movement, shrinkage etc. Painting/staining of external wooden framework. Replacement/repair due to fair wear and tear.|
|Doors and frames (including locks and glass)||All damages by users (including full cost of loss of keys by users).||Replacement/repair due to fair wear and tear and vandalism.|
|Automatic doors||All damages by users.||Replacement/repair due to fair wear and tear and vandalism.|
|Painting||All damages by users.||Cyclic maintenance by council/school on main sports pavilion.|
|Handrail, steps and ramps||All damages by users.||Replacement/repair due to fair wear and tear.|
|Fencing, gates and sheds||All damages by users.||Replacement/repair due to fair wear and tear.|
|Building damage due to vandalism and graffiti||Full responsibility.||Full responsibility.|
|Infestation by birds, animals and insects||Full responsibility.||Replacement of damage caused.|
|Soft fall, play equipment, garden beds, paving, localised drainage and surrounds.||All damages by users.||Replacement/repair due to fair wear and tear.|
|Trees||All damages by users.||Full responsibility.|
|Grass cutting||All damages by users.||Full responsibility as per agreed regular maintenance cycles.|
|Car parks - sealed and unsealed||All damages by users.||Full responsibility (including car park lighting).|
|Sports training lights, coaches boxes, interchange boxes, batting cages, dugouts, sight screens, synthetic wickets||All damages by users.||Replacement/repair due to fair wear and tear.|
|Cleaning/upkeep of surrounding area||Full responsibility from activities.||Normal maintenance program.|
|Drainage pits (carpark and surrounds)||All damages by users.||Full responsibility.|
Suggested playing field maintenance: recurrent grounds maintenance implications
The table below highlights grounds maintenance works which may be required for three categories of playing field provision. Category A would be the high performance facility which is predominantly used for
State level competition and above. Category B would be for general competitive play for school and district level competition. Category C is for casual sport and recreational use. The table also includes
reference to turf wickets for cricket which require a higher standard of intensive maintenance. Additional considerations are also referenced for those aspects of pitch maintenance and potential land
owner obligations which have to be built into the ongoing cost implications.
|Ground maintenance works||Category A||Category B||Category C|
|Soil management||Maintain a high free draining soil composition to a depth of 150mm.|
Programmed replacement of top 150mm soil every 15 years.
|Maintain a good draining soil composition to a depth of 150mm.|
Programmed replacement of top 100mm soil every 24 years.
|Local topsoil placed on playing field sub-base, which has been shaped to allow natural drainage of surface water.|
Reconstruction of playing surface every 50 years.
|Grass management||Healthy grass year-round capable of withstanding sporting activities.|
Maintain 95% coverage.
De-thatching of grass every 2 years.
|Healthy grass year-roundcapable of withstanding sporting activities.|
Maintain 85% coverage.
De-thatching of grass every 3 years.
|Healthy grass year-round capable of withstanding sporting activities.|
Maintain 75% coverage.
|Mowing||Grass height for cricket:|
Match days: 20-30mm.
Grass height for football/other:
Summer match days 20-35mm.
Summer other; 30-50mm.
Winter match days
Winter other; 50-80mm.
Summer season; 25-60mm.
Winter season; 50-80mm.
Summer season; 25-70mm.
Winter season; 50-90mm.
|Weeding||Retain even quality grass sward free from weed infestation that would be greater than 5% of grass coverage.||Avoid weed spreading over areas greater than 10% of grass coverage.||Avoid spreading over large area.|
|Litter control||Remove all visible litter at time of mowing.||Remove all visible litter at time of mowing.||Remove all visible litter at time of mowing.|
|Surface finish||Repair all visible ruts, depressions etc > 40mm in depth.||Repair all visible ruts, depressions etc > 40mm in depth.||Repair all visible ruts, depressions etc > 40mm in depth.|
|Automatic sprinkler system||All sprinkler heads working as programmed and with a repair time of 48 hours from notification of outages.|
Programmed replacement of system every 15 years.
|All sprinkler heads working as programmed and with a repair time of 5 hours from notification of outages.|
Programmed replacement of system every 24 years.
|Sub-surface drainage system||Sub-surface drainage to provide a playing surface free of surface water ponds for periods longer than 5 minutes after heavy rain.||Sub-surface drainage to provide with free draining sand based soil over the immediate drainage trenches only to produce a playing surface free of surface water ponds over extended periods.
Programmed replacement of system every 12 years.
|Mowing||Pitch grass on match days to be between 4-6mm.|
Surrounding wicket table 20-30mm.
|Grass management||Fertilising, watering, topdressing, weeding and other maintenance is undertaken, as required, to provide optimum grass growth of consistently green colour and free from weeds, pests or disease.
|Litter control||Remove all visible litter at time of mowing.|
|Surface finish||Repair all visible ruts, depressions >5mm on prepared pitches.|
Repair all visible ruts, depressions >20mm on wicket tables.
|Line marking||Line marking must be carried out using a suitable marking paint.|
|Goals||The maintenance, installation and removal of goals used in the conduct of competition for all seasonal sports will be the responsibility of council /school.|
|Car parks, access roads and drainage||The maintenance of car parks and access roads and associated drainage is the responsibility of council /school.|
|Public toilets||Toilets that are open to the public will be maintained by Council/School.This includes free standing public toilet blocks and pavilions.
|Process of reporting maintenance items||The nominated contacts of a user group should notify council/school immediately.|
|Notice of defects||A notice of defect and rectification will be issued to user groups where damage has been made to any facilities.|
|Emergency assistance||Provision of after-hours emergency service to be provided as a contact for any building rectification matters.|
Maintenance: cost models
Equitable contributions to maintenance
Equitable contributions to maintenance should be clearly defined. In all shared use arrangements there’s a need to agree on an appropriate standard and cost of maintenance. This can vary considerably
In respect of the Department of Education school facilities, maintenance arranged by the Department of Education is coordinated by BMW on its behalf and then directs the work to contracted facilities managers.
This can be at a higher cost than what an LGA can incur by using its own maintenance staff and may not meet the standards acceptable to a local government. In many local government circumstances full
cost recovery is not achievable on most community facility sites.
The extent of agreed capital and recurrent costs contributed by parties to the provision, development and/or use of infrastructure within a Shared Use Agreement is set out below.
Cost: apportionment of maintenance for local government
The cost of maintaining sports facilities and playing fields vary significantly and is subject to a wide range of factors relating to usage, ground conditions, supporting infrastructure and climate. In general
it is likely that a full cost recovery model with shared user groups may not be achievable. In such circumstances a local government will be required to establish an effective cost apportionment model
which recognises a user groups ability to pay and the intended community/social benefit of providing the service. This will require a process which attributes equitable cost parameters which are transparent
and consistent and be relevant to:
- Field/facility quality and maintenance standards, not just size.
- The ability for sports organisations to pay.
- A clearer understanding of the costs which must be recovered by local government through fees.
- The need to keep sports affordable for children and youth.Utilisation rates and capacity of infrastructure to maintain an agreed level (hours) of use.
- Maintenance levels required to satisfy individual sports needs.
Governing shared use facilities
The management and day-to-day operations of a shared use facility is a vital component of the delivery of a resource which meets the needs of the community it is intended to serve.
The quality and capability of the management can be the biggest influence on the cost and viability of a facility for individuals and organisations. It is important to ensure the management of a facility
is responsive to the size and capability of the shared use facility.
- For a small scale facility which services a limited number (two to four prime users), it may be possible to manage the facility through a management committee or board, where cost can be kept to a minimum.
- For a small to medium scale facility where usage can be readily controlled and delegated to one main occupant (ie a council run facility), it may be possible to have one employee with overall responsibility
for operational matters who reports directly to a committee or board.
- For a larger scale facility where the facility is required to service a variety of users with multiple demands. This requires a relatively sophisticated and heavily-resourced management set up.
The governance structures need to be determined on a case by case basis having regard to:
- The principle funders and funding partners associated with the facility.
- The reporting requirements of the responsible body for whom the requirement to meet community needs and agreed outcomes rests.
- Asset management and maintenance obligations.
- Agreed responsibilities and delegated decision making.
In addition to the choice of a management body and/or process, every shared community facility must be supported by an appropriate governance structure.
A governing body is the legal entity responsible and accountable for decisions in relation to:
- Ownership and management of the physical asset.
- Operations, programs and activities that take place within the building.
The operations of a shared community facility are in turn managed by people employed or acting on behalf of the governing body through agreement.
Good governance provides for sound decision making and accountability. The State of Victoria Department of Education and Child Development has identified eight principles of good governance for shared facility
partnerships which are applicable to good governance across shared use facilities in Western Australia.
These are identified as:
To ensure that decisions are based on clear criteria and are able to be scrutinised as being impartial and fair to all potential users.
Responsibilities are clearly defined and allocated to each partner.
Each partner and stakeholders have input into the operation of the partnership and the facility.
There is a shared understanding of the objectives and management of the partnership.
The partnership is able to respond to change in circumstances and is sufficiently agile to adapt to new opportunities.
Effectiveness and efficiency
The shared use of facilities can be sustained within the resources available and may achieve the optimum outputs from both a financial and social return on investment.
Integrity and stewardship
The project is delivered within the legal framework and is ethical.
All partners are responsible for the leadership and delivery of the project.
The failure of shared use agreements normally occurs where the above governance protocols are not adhered to. It is essential that when a shared use agreement is being considered, the various elements are
appropriately covered and underpin each partner’s objectives.
There are a variety of legal entities which can be considered in the development of a shared use community facility. All legal entities have strengths and weaknesses and may be used for the governance of
shared community facilities. All have the capability of providing the required levels of accountability, decision making, performance management and review. However the decision of which legal entity
to use is dependent on the extent of facilities which are to be made available for shared use and the level of involvement of different partners in ensuring that the shared use will deliver the desired
Where more than one legal entity comes together to manage a shared use facility this may give rise to difficulties (ie different objectives, reporting requirements and financial performance). Where this
occurs a number of questions will need to be posed:
- What legal entities will be involved in the facility?
- What are their roles and responsibilities?
- Is there an agreed method of working model under which the shared use of facilities can be managed?
- What documents will be used to confirm these agreements?
In most cases it will be necessary to create a new legal entity for the purposes of managing shared use. The type, role and responsibility of the body selected to govern a shared community facility needs
to be determined with a clear understanding of the potential strengths and weaknesses of each legal entity. It also needs to have regard to the outcomes desired in delivering the shred use facility.
The types of legal entity are identified and the respective benefits and challenges are listed.
It is important when developing relationships between the legal entities in governing a shared use community facility that consider the key following aspects:
- Board and committee terms of reference define the purpose and structure of the shared use committee or board. This can be enhanced by representatives of the community being involved to assist in planning
and policy development.
- Codes of conduct for committee members, including conflict of interest and procedures to outline expected conduct and integrity required of members.
- Roles and responsibility are clearly defined to provide direction on duties and accountabilities.
- Governance training is provided to assist shared use committee members in meeting their responsibilities. Representative and skilled committee members are essential for a committee/ board to run effectively.
- A memorandum of understanding (where necessary) is developed to document an agreement between parties, if it isn’t contained within the shared use agreement.
- Heads of agreement (where necessary) are drafted to provide key parameters of a proposed agreement between parties.
- The development of license, funding and service agreements to document relationships between legal entities to underpin the shared use arrangement. Care should be taken to minimise multiple agreements
which can be difficult to manage and coordinate.
- Mediation and conciliation methods are identified to resolve potential conflict that arises.
Forms of governance structures
Forms of governance structures
|Legal entity||Operational responsibilities||Benefits||Challenges|
|Partnership||Generally a group of individuals and/ or organisations responsible for managing a shared use facility and who may be equally liable for its debts.Often government funding will be directed towards
programs and initiatives that require organisations to work together, and sometimes under the leadership of a coordinating agency.Operational and partnership agreements establish and define
the governance mechanisms.It can be a legal organisation set up under formal legal documents.||A familiar model in operation in government and community services sectors.|
Provides association while retaining individual organisational sovereignty.
Provides mechanisms for the allocation
of roles based on individual organisational capacity and capability.
|There is the potential for an imbalance of power and influence between parties due to the reliance on a lead agency role and the allocation of other ‘lesser’ roles and responsibilities.This
needs to be managed with care.
In many instances this model would require parties to become jointly and severally liable for the performance of the entity.
|Joint ventures||A joint venture is a situation in which two distinct and independent entities work together toward a common goal.Each make concessions to assist each other, but their financial and operational
mechanisms remain separate.In such circumstances they are only liable for each other’s debts within the confines of the shared venture.||Relatively simple to develop and commonly used for project-specific or fixed-period venture.|
Two joint ventures can be established to separate asset management and operations into two legal
entities, yet allow parties to retain individual sovereignty.
Participation as a joint venture partner may affect the taxation status of incorporated associated shareholders in relation
to income tax exemptions.
To avoid conflict, complementary board membership between the two joint ventures should be established.
|Generally more constrained as a decision making body and can be ineffective when used to manage or own assets|
There may be less clarity in the objectives and partners may not be committed
to the approach
Joint venture may be ineligible to receive infrastructure or other grants from state or federal government.This would need to be checked at the outset.
|Company limited by guarantee||A community organisation could achieve the status of a corporation (thus achieving limited liability) by forming itself as a company limited by guarantee under the Corporations Act 2001. Members
guarantee to pay a fixed but nominal amount in the event of the liquidation of the company.|
This can be a suitable type of legal entity for managing expenditure, income, assets and the
agreements relating to them.
Unlike an incorporated association, a company limited by guarantee does not consider the interests of individual shareholder organisations and has more substantial
financial, taxation and corporate reporting requirements. Such a company can operate in all states of Australia under the regulation of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.
|Provides a separate legal entity that can transact business in the interests of the entity|
Can receive and deal with assets, bequests and donations
Can enter into commercial and contractual
Provides an independent entity that can fundraise on behalf of the company for the benefit of all participating parties.
|Body corporate - acting on behalf of the school||These are formed by the owners of a piece of land to manage, and maintain the common areas everyone uses. There are laws that determine what they can and can’t do and the rules they can
set. With freehold property, the owners’ corporation can engage professional strata management or body corporate management to manage the building on behalf of all owners.|
community facilities may be owned or administered through a not-for-profit, community service or related service organisation
These body corporate or statutory bodies are formed through a specific Act of parliament.
|An appropriate legal entity to govern and manage facilities that are being delivered using funds provided by the body corporate.|
These types of entities are typically not-for-profit or charitable
They can contribute successfully to community infrastructure projects as funders and partners.
|If the facility is solely governed by this type of entity, it will have a focus on the services and activities aligned with its charter, rather than a community focus.|
|Co-operative||A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons who voluntarily join together to meet common business, social and cultural needs through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise.|
The legislation governing the establishment, operation and regulation of co-operatives in Western Australia is the Co-operatives Act 2009 and the Co-operatives Regulations 2010.
are run on the basis of one member, one vote.
Membership is open to any person who maintains an active relationship with the co-operative.
A co-operative can be a trading or non-trading
Rules stipulate the eligibility criteria for members, primary activities of the co-operative and processes used to determine the status of members.
|Provides an autonomous community-focused organisation that is controlled by its members|
Provides a familiar model for an association with standardised rules
The compliance costs and
requirements are less than other types of legal entities.
|Co-operatives are not envisaged to manage the operation of a significant asset and be responsible for the management of considerable funds|
Equality of membership entitlements may not reflect
the allocation of risk and responsibilities
The process of registration and approval of the co-operative’s rules is conducted by WA Department of Commerce.
|Charitable trust||The Charitable Trust Act 1962 governs the provision of trusts in WA.Charitable Trust are recognised as bodies to provide, or to assist in the provision of, facilities for recreation or other
leisure-time occupation, if the facilities are provided in the interests of social welfare (ie public benefit).|
Whilst a trust is not a legal entity, but a set of relationships, it is
the oldest and continuing form of legal vehicles used to conduct activities for charitable purposes.
Advantageous tax treatment is offered to charitable trusts which are conducted for
the benefit of the public and not for particular individuals.
Trust deeds establish and define the purposes and governance of the trust and the role and functions of the trustee.
|Relatively low establishment and compliance costs, for a vehicle that can receive and deal with assets, bequests and donations.|
A familiar model used in administration of funds or assets
for purposes benefitting the public.
Can fundraise on behalf of the trust for the benefit of the purposes of the trust.
|The purposes of a charitable trust must be directed towards purposes that benefit the public and satisfy the meaning of charitable, which in some circumstances may preclude purposes that benefit
the public but may not be classified as charitable.|
The legal relationships created by the trust rely on a high degree of understanding of a few people with key responsibilities in the
administration and operation of the trust.
Has the capacity for a few members to change objectives, possibly at odds with the purposes of the trust.
|Incorporated Association||The most popular form of legal entity used by community and not-for-profit groups to form an association.|
Based on a membership model, and the rules and constitution stipulate the eligibility
criteria and processes used to determine who can become a member.
|A familiar and commonly used entity with a standardised constitution and rules.|
Incorporation processes are relatively simple and does not require extensive advice from legal professionals.
Individual members limit their exposure to personal legal liability.
The compliance costs and requirements are less than some other options and the penalties for not fully complying
with these requirements are less severe.
|This type of legal entity is not envisaged to effectively manage the operation of a significant asset and be responsible for the management of considerable funds.|
may not have sufficient rigour or flexibility in relation to the allocation of risk and responsibilities.
The process of incorporation and approval of the association’s constitution
and rules is conducted by the Commissioner for Consumer Protection.
Core elements of a shared use model
Taking into account the recommended planning process, if shared use is to be considered, in particular at school sites, it is important a consistent model of development is provided to ensure consistency, openness
and fairness. As stated previously any model proposed must be relevant to the community and the appropriateness of facilities which are to be included. The extent and validity of any subsequent shared use
agreement will be dependent on principles established early in the development process. This will be equally valid whether the facilities have been purpose built for community use or are being considered
as part of an extended development opportunity.
The following principles which have been broadly referenced in documents reviewed are considered essential in order to develop a consistent model:
Core elements of a shared use model
|Provide a clear vision, strategy and objective for community use.|| || || |
|Policy||Ensure that the principles of community use are embedded within an appropriately worded policy for the school or controlling body.
This should include the establishment of simple letting procedures which are clearly understood by users and providers.
| || || |
|Partnerships||Cultivate key partnerships with clubs, associations or other organisations within the local community who have expressed a need for the facility provision being provided.|| || || |
|Service provisions||Ensure the facility being offered for community use is aligned to the service provision being offered by the local government and not-for-profit sector within the catchment of the school site and
does not duplicate, where possible or compete with existing community infrastructure.
|| || || |
|Sustainability||Determine the most sustainable management and booking approach to ensure the most effective solution is available for the likely income to be generated.|
This should determine the most appropriate
management solution for the site (ie key holder arrangement, permanent local authority management structure, not-for-profit management body alternatives).
| || || |
|Business planning||Takes into account the ongoing anticipated expenditure (maintenance, energy costs, training of staff and users, etc) and income required to offset these costs.|
The business plan does not necessarily
need to ensure all cost are recouped from users, but must ensure a balanced and fair approach to cost apportionment.
| || || |
|Budgeting||Ensure that an appropriate budget is allocated within the school budget for the management of community use.|| || || |