Celebrating a milestone for Dial Before You Dig Queensland (DBYDQ) having reached 20 years of service driving the safe digging message throughout our state. In addition, we completed the purchase and fit-out of our own building.
Our focus this year has seen us reevaluate our approach to driving the safe digging message out to members and the construction industry as a whole. When we investigated damages in general we identified that in the majority of cases businesses that are involved in excavation were fully aware of the services DBYD provide and lodging an enquiry was embedded in their work practices and procedures. We note that in relation to incidents/damages occurring to members assets these continue to be a major concern and in some instances these damages are increasing.
Over our 20-year history the DBYD brand has become a very well-established brand and we have for the past 9 years promoted DBYD as “The Essential First Step”. That message has well and truly been embraced by our members and the construction industry. Unfortunately, in far too many occasions post the essential first step is where the incidents/damages are being caused. To work towards eliminating these incidents/damages our marketing has shifted to ensuring an end to end process is being adhered to by the construction industry and that process is the 5P’s of safe excavation.
Since early 2000 DBYD has been advocating the 4P’s of safe excavation, Plan, Pothole, Protect and then Proceed. DBYDQ as part of our strategy to focus on an end to end process recognized there was an important component of the safe digging procedure that was not in general being promoted as a part of the 4P’s. That lead us to evolve the 4P’s to include a fifth P (the second P) which stands for Prepare, this focuses on engaging the services of a DBYD Certified Locator. The 5P’s of Safe Excavation are now promoted nationally and supported by all state associations and the Australian Association of Dial Before You Dig Service (AADBYDS).
DBYDQ conducted a full review of the Best Practice Guide for Locating Underground Services and this review lead us to rewrite the guide to include changes such as the 5P’s, more information associated with the certified locators and far more detail concerning Australian Standard 5488. DBYDQ stand by our mission statement “We will innovate to provide services to ensure the location of network infrastructure”. We have always seen ourselves as forward thinkers and recognise that we must demonstrate to all our members that we are in fact driving initiatives that work towards eliminating damages to our members assets.
2017/18 has seen us achieve much greater than expected growth with our service in respect to the volumes of enquiries lodged. In 2016/17 we achieved 7.7% growth on enquiries compared with our average yearly growth of 14%. The previous year (2015/16) however saw a growth of 24% therefore over those two years we exceeded our average growth rate. This year we achieved a growth on enquiries of 16.5% which is quite remarkable in the current climate. With the release of the federal budget for 2018/19 which has earmarked $5.2 Billion for infrastructure projects in Queensland the likelihood is that we will continue to experience better than average growth on enquiries over the coming years.
This year we received 363,627 enquiries which generated 1,749,073 referrals out to our members. For each enquiry lodged on average we notify 4.8 members that works are being proposed in a location where they potentially have buried assets. The referral ratio continues to grow as more asset owners register as members and existing members increase their areas of coverage to cater for expansion on their asset layer footprint. We recognise that the NBN Co build has continued to be a major factor in the growth we have been experiencing for a number of years.
The results for growth on enquiries in the other states were as follows; NSW/ACT 21%, Vic/Tas 19%, SA/NT 7% and WA 15%. (refer to the graph on page xx). When considering the major infrastructure booms in New South Wales and Victoria the growth Queensland has experienced is very satisfying.
Growing our membership is one of our key deliverables as we strive to have every owner of buried pipes and cables register their assets in our service. This year we registered six new members, three of which were councils in North Queensland. There are 77 local governments in Queensland and of that 77 we have 33 registered as members which equates to 43%. We are very confident that over the coming years we will secure a good proportion of the remaining councils as members.