The Australian geoguides for slope management and maintenance

AGS Landslide Taskforce, Slope Management and Maintenance Working Group

The Australian Geomechanics Society (AGS) presents on the following pages a guideline on slope management and maintenance, as part of the landslide risk management guidelines developed under the National Disaster Funding Program (NDMP). This Guideline is aimed at home owners, developers and local councils, but also has applicability to a larger audience which includes builders and contractors, consultants, insurers, lawyers, government departments and in fact any person, or organisation, with a responsibility for the management or maintenance of a slope. The objective is to inform those with little or no knowledge of geotechnical engineering about landslides.

Each GeoGuide is a stand-alone document, which is formatted so that it can be printed on two sides of a single A4 sheet. It is expected that the set of GeoGuides will increase with time to cover a range of topics. As things stand:

  • GeoGuide LR1 is an introductory sheet that should be read by all users, since it explains what the LR (landslide risk) series is about and defines terms.
  • GeoGuides LR2, 3 and 4 explain why landslides occur and provide information on different types of landslide.
  • GeoGuide LR5 discusses the critical part that water often plays in relation to landslide occurrence and discusses measures that can be adopted to limit its effect.
  • GeoGuide LR6 refers to retaining walls and their maintenance.
  • GeoGuide LR7 puts the concept of landslide risk into an everyday context, so users can relate a particular landslide risk to other risks that they know they are prepared to take, sometimes on a daily basis.
  • GeoGuide LR8 retains the ideas of good and poor hillside construction practice originally provided by an AGS sub-committee in 1985.
  • GeoGuide LR9 concentrates specifically on effluent and surface water disposal, which is an important topic in some development areas.
  • GeoGuide LR10 is specifically aimed at those who have property on the coast and could be susceptible to coastal erosion processes.
  • GeoGuide LR11 provides information about the benefits of keeping records on inspection and maintenance activities and provides a proforma record sheet for users.

It is recognised that the GeoGuides are likely to be upgraded from time to time. Feedback on use and suggested changes should be sent to the National Chair of the Australian Geomechanics Society. The latest versions of the GeoGuides will be downloadable from the AGS website

Through the NDMP, Australian governments (at Commonwealth, State and Local Government levels) are also funding the development of a Landslide Zoning Guideline (AGS 2007a), and a Practice Note Guideline (AGS 2007c) to which interested readers seeking in-depth information should refer.