John Butler, Commissioner with H.E. Dr. Abdulla Ghareeb Alboshi
Twenty delegates from UAE Government Municipalities took part in a Study Tour to Melbourne last week, with the aim of researching Victoria’s world-class local government asset management systems and looking at ways of implementing the world’s best practice processes into Abu Dhabi Municipalities.
The delegation was led by HE Dr. Abdulla Ghareeb Albloshi, Executive Director – Municipal Affairs Support for the Department of Municipal Affairs and included high profile representatives from the Abu Dhabi Municipality, Al Ain Municipality and the Western Region Development Council (Al Gharbia).
The tour included a series of meetings with the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) and representatives of Victorian infrastructure and asset management businesses. Delegates also attended the eighth National Local Government Asset Management Conference held in Melbourne which addressed issues such as leadership, funding, and included speakers from across the country.
The study tour was organised by the Abu Dhabi Department of Municipal Affairs with support from the Victorian Government Business Office – the regional business and investment arm of the State Government of Victoria - and the Victorian Department of Business and Innovation.
John Butler, Commissioner – MENA, State Government of Victoria, said: “Victorian local government councils are well recognised as world leaders of asset management practices. In recent years enormous progress has been made addressing common issues such as poor management systems, ongoing financial constraints and skills shortages. There has also been significant work done in helping to gain the understanding and support from all Council divisions, enabling a comprehensive and sustainable approach to asset management.
“We have been delighted to support the UAE Study Tour to Melbourne, which allowed delegates to network with international colleagues and industry experts, and to explore current asset management issues that will help with the strategic and sustainable direction across UAE Municipalities.”
The Commissioner Mr Butler and other members of the Victorian Government Business Office - MENA, met with tour delegates on 25th April 2011, for a pre-departure briefing held at the Department of Municipal Affairs Office in Abu Dhabi. At the meeting Mr Butler (left) presented a gift to HE Dr. Abdulla Ghareeb Albloshi as an advanced welcome to Melbourne, which has recently been named the world’s second most liveable city.
The State Government of Victoria has a strong presence in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region, and through its Victorian Government Business Office based in Dubai, it works to promote and assist business links with Victoria and Australia.