The Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) has released its 2019 federal election platform that includes six key focus areas which emphasise the social and economic benefits quality design and a strong architectural profession can deliver.

The AIA’s six key areas are Fostering Thriving Cities and Regions; Housing a Diverse and Inclusive Community; Improving Building Regulation; Addressing Climate Change; Capitalising on Creativity and Supporting Australian Skills and Trade.

National president Clare Cousins says there was huge scope for any incoming government to effect meaningful change provided they had the courage and capacity to implement recommended reforms.

“The upcoming election has the potential to be a real watershed moment in Australia’s medium-term political future,” says Cousins.

“The key areas the Institute has identified in our election platform intersect with the interests of almost all Australians, which is unsurprising given the many touchpoints we have with the built environment in our daily lives.”

“But that only reinforces why it is so important for our incoming national government – however it is constituted – to address the challenges and implement the solutions we have identified.”

“An incoming government must address Australia’s triple-A housing challenge of availability, affordability and accessibility.”

“In particular, they must do more to support the housing needs of Indigenous and older Australians and those with a disability.”

The Institute has reiterated its long-running calls to improve safety by reforming building regulation and compliance.

“We call on the incoming government to amend the National Construction Code (NCC) to mandate the use of architects for institutional buildings and residential buildings that are three storeys and over, to make sure these structures are delivering the best possible outcomes for the people who use them,” says Cousins.

It also recommends ensuring that funding, programs and partnerships like City Deals link to specific design and sustainability outcomes.