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    Designing Australia's future: AIA set out to work with Coalition government

    Nicholas Rider

    The Australian Institute of Architects, along with other groups, say they are ready to work with the re-elected Coalition government on designing Australia’s future.

    Professor Ken Maher, National President of the Institute calls for Malcolm Turnbull to continue strengthening his government’s focus on raising the productivity and resilience of Australian cities.    

    “The government must build on its previous commitments in the Smart Cities Plan to deal with the key challenges facing Australia’s built environment, including climate change, housing affordability, and the need for more social and economic infrastructure,” says Professor Maher.

    He believes that the government “must focus on ensuring excellence in urban design, public spaces and architecture in our towns and cities.” 

    “We need the delivery of economic, social and green infrastructure to be led by holistic strategic planning combined with better coordination and collaboration across all tiers of government, the private sector, researchers, and the wider community.”  

    Maher says it’s essential that the government supports communities by “building resilience, creating a climate for innovation, valuing quality design, and above all expressing a compelling vision for the future.”

    “Genuine and informed community engagement will be critical to success.”

    NEW TURNBULL GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO FOCUS ON CITIES, JOBS AND HOUSING: URBAN TASKFORCE

    Property development industry group Urban Taskforce Australia has called on the new Turnbull Government to refocus on important urban issues including cities, jobs and housing affordability.

    Congratulating Malcolm Turnbull on behalf of the Urban Taskforce, CEO Chris Johnson said they looked forward to strong policies on urban issues. Recalling that both the government and the opposition had made commitments to focussing on cities, he said they sought political consensus on driving quality development and growth in Australia’s cities.

    For instance, the proposals for ‘City Deals’ where the three levels of government work together on large precincts such as Western Sydney around the proposed airport now need to become real. The Urban Taskforce strongly supports the government’s focus on Western Sydney and believes the private sector must also be involved in the development of robust plans for the future of this key area.

    According to Mr Johnson, the affordability of housing, especially in urban areas such as Sydney, must also be the focus of the federal government, particularly through funding key projects. The Urban Taskforce also requested the federal government to help cities with the funding of vital infrastructure such as metro rail networks, which will become essential to maintain urban liveability and the quality of life enjoyed by residents.

    He added that the Urban Taskforce was keen to work with the federal government on policies related to areas that affect the property industry.

    The Urban Taskforce represents Australia’s most prominent property developers and equity financiers. 

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