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Space Management and Infrastructure policy

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Policy is effective from 5 October 2023.

(2) This Policy is made under the following legislation:

  1. Deakin University Act 2019 (Vic)
  2. Statute 6.1 - University Property, Facilities, Fees and Charges
  3. Regulation 6.1(2) - University Property.
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Section 2 - Purpose

(3) This Policy sets out principles for:

  1. the good planning and management of campus infrastructure aligned with the University’s strategic and sustainability objectives and its operational needs
  2. the efficient and effective allocation of physical space.
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Section 3 - Scope

(4) This Policy applies to all campuses, land, buildings, other property and facilities owned by or under the control of or occupied by the University.

(5) It is the policy of the University that all:

  1. planning
  2. design
  3. construction
  4. refurbishment
  5. maintenance
  6. demolition
  7. acquisition and disposal
  8. allocation
  9. leasing
is undertaken in accordance with relevant laws, regulations (Occupational Health and Safety, building, essential safety measures and WorkCover) and is the responsibility of the Executive Director, Infrastructure, Property and Precincts by the delegated authority of the Chief Operating Officer.

(6) The Chief Operating Officer must report at least annually to Council through its Finance and Business Affairs Committee on campus infrastructure and utilisation planning.

(7) The University Executive is the approval authority for the Capital Infrastructure Plan which sets out a strategic approach towards management of University property across all of the physical campuses.

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Section 4 - Policy

Campus infrastructure and usage

(8) The University is committed to the effective planning, use and maintenance of campus infrastructure and will manage space to:

  1. support the University’s strategic objectives
  2. comply with health and safety requirements (including legislation, Compliance Codes and Australian Standards) and disability access standards based upon current use
  3. provide an inclusive and ergonomic environment for users
  4. advance the University’s sustainability objectives, specifically:
    1. environmental sustainability through smart, sustainable buildings and contributing to the University’s 2030 sustainability aspirations including carbon neutrality
    2. social sustainability through welcoming social campus environments and high quality facilities
    3. economic sustainability through efficient space usage
    4. all workspaces are to be used dynamically – when workpoints are vacant they should be able to be used by others.

(9) In planning and providing space the University will balance the maintenance, renewal and repurposing of existing spaces against the creation of new capacity.

(10) In planning and providing spaces where hazardous activities are carried out or where hazardous materials are stored or hazardous plant is operated, the University will apply risk management principles to their design and operation.

Efficient and effective use of space

(11) The University is working towards improved staff work spaces that provide a more effective working environment and improving the overall level of space use.

(12) A high priority for the University is the cooperative use of space to foster collaboration, teamwork and knowledge exchange.

(13) The following principles apply to the management and allocation of University space for efficient and effective use:

  1. space will be shared across organisational areas where it is deemed practical by the University and provides the best use of space
  2. space is configured flexibly to promote diverse use and reduce the environmental and financial cost of repurposing and reallocation
  3. occupancy is consolidated and rationalised to maximise utilisation and minimise operating costs
  4. space is allocated according to operational requirements and may be reallocated as operational activities change or new priorities emerge.

(14) The University will provide space for staff and students of an appropriate documented quality that meets regulatory compliance requirements, workplace health and safety standards, appropriate environmental standards and applicable professional obligations.

(15) The University will increase utilisation of existing workspaces to create greater efficiency and flexibility by providing repurposed spaces that are co-designed with University staff. University staff will be accommodated within a variety of focus, collaboration and connected zones, reinforcing the shift away from a 1:1 workpoint-to-staff allocation.

(16) Further detail on the processes the University uses to allocate and manage space is set out in the:

  1. Academic Timetabling policy
  2. Space Management and Allocation procedure.

Roles and responsibilities

(17) The Executive Director, Infrastructure, Property and Precincts is responsible for the allocation and reallocation of space with advice and consultation as appropriate. Decisions on space allocation may be reviewed by the Chief Operating Officer, who will make a final determination.

(18) The Executive Director, Infrastructure, Property and Precincts will ensure that space is well utilised and will measure usage against relevant performance indicators, including benchmarks published by the Tertiary Education Facilities Management Association (TEFMA) where appropriate.

(19) The Infrastructure, Property and Precincts will administer the allocation and occupancy of all space across the University.

(20) The Infrastructure, Property and Precincts will ensure that all spaces are risk assessed in consultation with space users as needed and appropriately classified in accordance with Australian Standards and the relevant Building Code.

(21) The relevant member of the University Executive is responsible for:

  1. allocations of space within their portfolios, with advice and consultation from the Executive Director, Infrastructure, Property and Precincts
  2. ensuring that the space is used for the agreed purpose and informing the Executive Director, Infrastructure, Property and Precincts of any planned change of use. Approval from the Executive Director, Infrastructure, Property and Precincts may be required if, in the view of the Executive Director, Infrastructure, Property and Precincts, the planned changes represent a significant change to the substantive use or function of allocated space
  3. ensuring that:
    1. the space allocated is kept in a safe condition including clear of obstructions and hazards to enable safe evacuation
    2. all statutory and regulatory requirements within their control are complied with.

(22) Where an organisational unit planning an activity or staff recruitment, or new course or change in delivery of an existing unit which will require new or additional space, the relevant Head of Organisational Unit must liaise with the Infrastructure, Property and Precincts regarding the impact on space resources (see the Space Management and Allocation procedure for more detail).

Acquisition, disposal and leasing of land and property

(23) Proposals to purchase or dispose of property or to lease property for a period exceeding 21 years require the approval of University Council (Council).

(24) Prior approval of the Minister is required before Council can approve the disposal of land or grant a lease exceeding 21 years concerning land identified in the Deakin University Act 2009 (Vic).

(25) All land acquisition or disposal transactions require approval from the Victorian Government Land Monitor.

(26) The Infrastructure, Property and Precincts is responsible for identifying, negotiating the terms of the land transaction, facilitating the contract in consultation with the Office of the General Counsel and ensuring all relevant internal and external approvals are received.

(27) Under authority delegated from the Chief Operating Officer, the Executive Director, Infrastructure, Property and Precincts will negotiate the terms of all licenses and leases of University space and land; or the terms under which the University intends to lease or licence space owned by an external organisation.

(28) The Executive Director, Infrastructure, Property and Precincts will ensure that the rent for each external tenancy is set at a competitive commercial rate, and that costs to the University associated with property management are reimbursed by the tenant.

(29) The Chief Operating Officer may approve the rent or licence fees for non-commercial tenants to be set a less than commercial rates if it is considered to be in the University’s strategic interests to do so.

Room and grounds bookings

(30) Ad-hoc events will be scheduled into teaching spaces after the scheduling of the relevant trimester timetable. Any exception will require the approval of the Executive Director, Infrastructure, Property and Precincts.

(31) Staff members may book rooms or grounds for University activities outside the teaching timetable via the Infrastructure and Property Group website.

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Section 5 - Procedure

(32) The Space Management and Allocation procedure sets out procedural steps relevant to the implementation of this Policy.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(33) There are no definitions arising under this Policy.