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    Australia appoints a Minister for Cities and the Built Environment to industry applause

    Nathan Johnson

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    Key industry bodies from Australia’s design, construction and development sector have welcomed newly-elected Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s decision to include the first portfolio for Cities and the Built Environment in his Cabinet ministry.

    Turnbull’s appointment of Jamie Briggs to Minister for Cities and the Built Environment was welcomed by Consult Australia who says the portfolio has been long called-for by industry and will support collaboration across our states, territories and local government for more productive, sustainable and liveable cities.

    “This cabinet builds a foundation for strong evidence-based policy development supporting productivity, jobs and business confidence,” says Consult Australia Chief Executive Megan Motto.

    “We congratulate the Hon Jamie Briggs MP as Minister for Cities and the Built Environment, a portfolio long called-for by industry, recognising the critical role of our cities in driving national productivity and supporting a better standard of living for the over 80 per cent of Australians that live in major cities.”


    Two of Australia’s key industry representative bodies for sustainable city development, The Green Building Council of Australia and The Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC), were also supportive of Turnbull’s decision, suggesting that the new built environment portfolio will help Australia make the most of its productivity powerhouses and better tackle the key challenges we face in our cities.

    “Prime Minister Turnbull has been actively engaged in the cities space for many years and acknowledges that cities, long overlooked by federal governments, are home to our most valuable economic assets – our people,” says GBCA’s Chief Executive Officer, Romilly Madew.

     “Minister Briggs’ long-awaited appointment will enable us to better tackle the challenges we face – challenges such as climate change, population growth, ageing demographics, congestion, housing affordability, liveability and social inclusion.”

    “Australia’s cities are engines of growth. Leadership and coordination at a Federal level is vital to delivering greater productivity, prosperity and a better standard of living,” says Suzanne Toumbourou, ASBEC Executive Director.

    “ASBEC and its members have long called for a Minister for Cities.  We very much look forward to working closely with Minister Briggs to leverage the strengths of industry and every sphere of government in helping to deliver more productive, liveable and sustainable cities.”


    While Master Builders Australia also welcomed Turnbull’s appointment of Jamie Briggs MP to Minister for Cities and the Built Environment, they also expressed their satisfaction with the appointment of Scott Morrison as the new Treasurer and Luke Hartsuyker as the new Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, suggesting the Federal Cabinet will rebalance the Government’s policy agenda.

    “The Prime Minister’s commitment to a renewed and reinvigorated focus on implementing a policy vision for the economy will boost business, consumer and investor confidence and Master Builders welcomes the appointment of Hon. Scott Morrison MP as the new Treasurer,” Wilhelm Harnisch, CEO of Master Builders Australia explains.

     “Most welcome for Master Builders is the Prime Minister’s recognition of the role of livable and well-functioning cities as engines of economic growth and productivity.  It is an opportunity to work with the states/territories and local government to tackle the growing problem of housing affordability and to focus on investment, planning and delivery of urban infrastructure that will be overseen by Hon. Jamie Briggs MP as Minister for Cities and the Built Environment,” he says.

    “Industrial relations reform can be a major driver of productivity growth and the restoration of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) is an essential priority for the building and construction industry. Master Builders therefore welcomes the appointment of Senator Hon. Michaelia Cash as Minister for Employment to continue the Government’s pursuit of this vital reform.”

    “Skills and education are also fundamental to productivity outcomes and Master Builders welcomes the continuing and enhanced responsibility of Senator Hon. Simon Birmingham as the new Minister for Education and Training. Master Builders also looks forward to working with the new Minister for Vocational Education and Skills the Hon. Luke Hartsuyker MP on reforms to more closely align the apprenticeship system with the needs of industry and young people.”

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