The Australian Institute of Architects has called for greater funding for housing initiatives that promote affordable, sustainable and accessible building practices, support First Nations communities, and invest in the future of the architectural profession.
In its Pre-Budget Submission to Treasury, the Institute seeks new supports to boost sustainability in the built environment and improve First Nations codesign and housing.
The Institute’s National President Shannon Battisson said the May 9 budget was an opportunity to overcome the challenges of climate, housing and First Nations disadvantage together.
“These initiatives would support the well-being of First Nations communities, promote sustainable and accessible building practices for all Australians, and bring significant benefits to the Australian building industry,” she said.
“The Institute looks forward to the Australian Government’s consideration of these recommendations in the upcoming budget.”
One of the key recommendations is the establishment of the Australian Net Zero Buildings Commission (ANZBC), which would receive $75m in funding for its establishment and three years of operation.
The ANZBC would conduct research on the performance of Australia’s built environment under climate change and research technology to achieve net zero.
Additionally, the ANZBC would oversee a $500m fund to support PhD research positions, commercialise research, and provide equity funding for startups focused on net zero building materials.
The Institute also proposes the establishment of an Australian Government Architects’ Office (AGAO) with a budget of $16m over the next four years. The AGAO would advise the government and statutory agencies on the best ways to achieve great designs and outcomes for government-owned or funded buildings.
It would also establish the First Nations Architects’ Office with $2m in funding to ensure that design for First Nations housing and community infrastructure is culturally appropriate and involves local communities.
Another recommendation is the allocation of $4 billion over four years to 2027 to fund a co-designed national housing deal with First Nations communities delivering 8000 new indigenous social housing dwellings.
The Institute also proposes an $80m two-year trial of an employer wages subsidy to ensure that Australian universities’ architect graduates can gain supervised graduate positions in practice and attain their registration.
Additionally, the Institute has called for $150m over three years for a national upgrade program to retrofit existing public-use and community buildings to increase accessible for people living with disabilities.
For further information, please contact: Rosanne Barrett on behalf of the Australian Institute of Architects.
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