Federal Election 2022 – Call for Government Architect to guide national design excellence

The Australian Institute of Architects has called for the elevation of design through the creation of an Office of the Australian Government Architect.

On behalf of more than 13,000 members, the Institute wants all political candidates to commit to better design for Australia’s built environment through national leadership.

The policy is one of six comprehensive proposals within the Institute’s Federal Election Policy Statement A Time For Action.

The Institute’s National President Tony Giannone said the role of an Australian Government Architect was overdue, and would benefit our national landmarks.

“Most of Australia’s states and territories recognise the value of having a government architect to promote high-quality design for our public buildings,” Mr Giannone said.

“It is high time the Australian Government saw the value in this role at a national level. Government architects can provide an independent voice to guide the development of public buildings and create a national legacy.”

The next Australian Government could establish an Office of the Australian Government Architect with funding of $14 million over the next four years.

The Office would advise government and statutory agencies on the best ways to achieve design excellence in government-owned or government-funded buildings. Within the Office, a Connecting with Country advisor would guide project planning, work practices and relationship building, based on First Nations principles.

This would have meaningful impact, given Australian governments procured about one-third of non-residential buildings across the country in 2021, according to the ABS.

“We know people want well-designed, sustainable buildings,” Mr Giannone said.

“Governments play a critical role in delivering on community expectations for our built environment. An Office of the Australian Government Architect would provide strategic advice to deliver architecture and urban design that boosts communities and places.”

Government Architects support planning and design in all Australian states and the ACT. Tasmania does not have a government architect and in the Northern Territory, there is no one in the role.

Other policies in A Time For Action include greater action and funding for climate change initiatives, a 30-year National Housing Strategy, a National Construction Supply Chain Strategy to boost local manufacturing, addressing gender diversity and inequality in construction, and calling for a national anti-corruption watchdog.


For media enquiries contact:

Rosanne Barrett on behalf of the Australian Institute of Architects

M. +61 0425 420 024 |  hello@barrettcomms.com.au