Green Building Council Australia believes the recent change in leadership has also brought about a change in focus with cities taking their place in the spotlight.

The previous Abbott Government was largely silent on cities, whereas the Turnbull Government has created a new portfolio for Cities and the Built Environment headed by the nation’s first Minister for Cities, Jamie Briggs.

Reporting to the Minister for Environment Greg Hunt, Briggs will be focused on cities as drivers of not only economic growth, but carbon abatement too. Briggs says his portfolio seeks to “get our cities working so they are productive, efficient and liveable so we're attracting the best global talent. And of course that’s a wide range of issues from transport to liveability, through to clean, green cities”.

Though Australia’s capital cities regularly feature in international rankings for most liveable cities, residents often speak of diminishing affordability, creaking infrastructure and fading quality of life despite their cities’ many economic, natural and cultural assets. Bringing in a transformation to make these cities productive, liveable, resilient and sustainable is a complex process and needs clear thinking.

As an enduring advocate for better communities and cities, GBCA recognises that both industry and government have critical roles to play. GBCA has been engaging in this regard with Minister Hunt and Minister Briggs, as well as the Prime Minister’s office and the new Minister for Territories, Local Government and Major Projects, Paul Fletcher, who is tasked with finding innovative finance models for infrastructure projects.

GBCA has launched a new newsletter, Policy Perspective, to encourage more discussion and debate among various stakeholders about the future of Australian cities.

GBCA will also be hosting The Hon. Rob Stokes, NSW Minister for Planning, and The Hon. Anthony Albanese, Federal Shadow Minister for Cities, for a lunch in Sydney on Friday 27 November as they outline their visions and debate their policies for 'What makes a city great?’.