The Queensland Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects is urgently calling upon both the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and the Liberal National Party (LNP), if elected on 31 October, to increase the resources of The Office of the Queensland Government Architect.

According to Michael Lavery, president of the Australian Institute of Architects’ Queensland Chapter, design should be the cornerstone of any COVID-19 economic recovery plan. “If Queensland is to thrive in the wake of COVID-19, design must be prioritised,” he says.

Lavery adds that Queenslanders already have design to thank for the sophisticated state it has become in recent years. “Long gone are the misconceptions that design is an optional, and sometimes costly, added extra,” he explains. 

“The opposite is true."

“Design is essential for the success of any economic recovery program,” he says. “It’s the single most powerful tool we can rely upon to ensure we remain economically competitive, culturally robust and environmentally responsive.”   

According to Lavery, failure to boost resources will significantly compromise both the lifestyles and livelihoods of Queenslanders.

“Design is the process that guarantees we can deliver safe, efficient and cost-effective transport, schools, business hubs, medical facilities and tourist centres,” he says.

“As an architect, I’ve witnessed how design fast tracks economies, unites communities and protects our natural landscapes and wildlife — without it, all Queenslanders will be worse off.

“The impact of the Office cannot be understated,” he says.

“Operating with what I consider to be a ‘skeleton staff’ is, essentially, short changing the people of Queensland.”