The recent National Conference in Canberra was a terrific opportunity to come together as a professional community and share knowledge and experience. The program was diverse and interesting with many aspects of our profession addressed from keynote addresses by Stan Grant and Clover Moore to hands on vapour permeable waterproofing workshops. Thanks to all of the team responsible for the delivery of such a successful event and to all speakers and panelists for sharing their insight and wisdom.
PROPERTY COUNCIL PREMIER’S LUNCH
Great to hear from NSW Premier Chris Minns at the recent State of the State Property Council lunch. We look forward to seeing the ‘rebalancing urban growth’ policy and accompanying housing targets to be released prior to Christmas. Our NSW Chapter President Adam Haddow represented the Institute at the event.
LIVABLE HOUSING STAKEHOLDER FORUM
A number of key stakeholders gathered last month to discuss the potential NSW adoption of the NCC2022 Livable Housing standards at the Livable Housing Stakeholder Forum.
We will continue to advocate for NSW to lead the way on the adoption of these standards ensuring equitable access to housing for all NSW community members.
The NCC2022 changes can be found here: New Livable Housing Design Requirements
INDIGENOUS CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE DESIGN COMPETITION ENDORSEMENT
We were pleased to work with Western Sydney University to review competition documents and provide our endorsement of the design competition for the Indigenous Centre of Excellence. Congratulations to the four finalists who have now moved into the final competition phase.
More information on the competition can be found here: Indigenous Centre of Excellence Design Competition
Read the Institute’s letter of endorsement: Click here.
DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING PROFESSIONAL PEAKS FORUM
“BASIX has been in place since 2004 and in August 2023 it was updated to increase sustainability standards for residential development as part of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Sustainable Buildings) 2022. The Department allowed for a 14 month deferred commencement of the policy which became effective on 1 October 2023. A new tool has been integrated into the NSW Planning Portal which is vastly different to the previous BASIX tool. The Department is receiving and fielding a lot of enquiries regarding the new tool. Hypercare systems are currently in place.’’
If you are experiencing issues with the new platform please reach out to us and let us know and we will work with the Department to assist you.
The Department provided a recap on the policy settings for the Social and affordable housing reforms.
‘’In June 2023 the Government announced measures to help facilitate the supply of social and affordable housing.
- 30% FSR and 30% height bonus for developers who delivered residential development with at least 15% affordable housing as part of the development;
- a new state significant development (SSD) pathway for residential development valued over $75M;
- a new self-assessment pathway for LAHC and AHO for social and affordable developments of up to 75 homes
- Landcom will be able to self-assess affordable housing developments of up to 75 homes to streamline the delivery of social housing;
- expanded permissibility for Community Housing Providers and Aboriginal Community Housing Providers in the low density space.’’
The Institute recently submitted on the draft Housing SEPP proposal issued by the NSW government addressing proposed changes to the State significant development process and provision of social and affordable housing. Read our submission here.
GANSW MISSING MIDDLE CASE STUDIES
We are currently working with other key stakeholders on the Missing Middle interactive map project. Thanks to our expert member Walter Brindle, JPW for his assistance on this project.
The project aims to publish an online interactive map, indicating projects which successfully respond to the following criteria:
- response to context and neighbourhood character
- built form and scale
- impact on the public domain (landscape, parking arrangements, safety, aesthetics)
- level of density appropriate to the area and local amenity
- a percentage of projects will comprise development in regional areas of NSW
Our work supporting members with the NSW Building Reforms continues. We are currently working on further guidance tools around the process of declaration for facades and also for passive fire documentation along with assisting government and other stakeholders in updating the Design Practitioner’s Handbook. We continue to assist members of all practice sizes in navigating the reforms through phone calls, office visits, emails and meetings.
THE VOICE REFERENDUM
After a week of silence was observed following the Voice referendum, an important message from Cameron Bruhn CEO of the Australian Institute of Architects was recently issued to members.
”The recent Referendum to establish a First Nations Voice has highlighted the challenges we collectively face on the journey toward Reconciliation.
Despite the outcome, it showed that almost forty percent of Australians do want the views of Indigenous people heard and counted in relation to matters that affect them. It is now more important than ever that we come together to determine the path forward.
The Institute remains committed to Reconciliation and the generous invitation made by the Uluru Statement from the Heart to all Australians, and its call for Voice, Treaty and Truth will continue to guide the organisation’s strategies and planning.
Working together, we can change outcomes for Indigenous Australians through our support of the profession and alignment of our policy, advocacy and education approaches with First Nations values and priorities.
The Institute is committed to supporting our First Nation’s staff and members, and we are prioritising the work of the voice to the Institute, the First Nations Advisory Committee, as part of our steadfast commitment to Reconciliation.
One initiative we encourage members to participate in is the Country, Culture, Community CPD event held between 14–16 February 2024.
Drawing together Indigenous and non-Indigenous architects, designers, artists, and thinkers from across Australia on palawa Country, nipaluna (Hobart), this three-day event will explore practical experiences, real world learning, and realistic action plans.
We have much to learn and we are committed to working together to shape a better future.”
DIVERSITY INCLUSION SURVEY
The results of the Australian Institute of Architects’ first national Diversity & Inclusion in the Architectural Profession survey & focus group report is available for download, as presented at the recent national conference in Canberra: View the Report.
The report presents profession-specific demographics, diversity and inclusion data not previously collected by the Institute. Where possible, the data collected has been benchmarked using Australian Bureau of Statistics Census/Survey data and membership record data.
It collates the benchmarked data collected from 1,673 survey respondents, summarises 612 open-ended comments and provides a thematic summary of six focus groups.
The results will help us develop the future Diversity and Inclusion policy, with the purpose of taking positive steps to lead the profession toward people-centred, evidence-based transformation. This work led by Institute Policy & Advocacy Manager, Beata Davey was an initiative of the National Committee for Gender Equity Committee, chaired by Marika Neustupny. The survey consultant was Survey Matters and the D&I consultant was Felicity Menzies, Include-Empower.
NATIONAL HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS SUBMISSION
The national policy & advocacy team recently came together from all states to respond to the Australian government’s Issues Paper on Housing and Homelessness in Australia as part of the National Housing and Homelessness Plan (The Plan).
‘’The Plan will be a 10-year strategy. It will set out a shared vision to inform future housing and homelessness policy in Australia.
The Plan will set out the key short, medium and longer term reforms needed to address housing challenges.
The development of the Plan recognises long-standing calls from states and territories, as well as other key stakeholders, for a national plan to help more Australians access safe and affordable housing. The Plan will provide a better understanding of the current state of housing and homelessness in Australia and the drivers of homelessness and housing insecurity throughout urban, regional, rural and remote Australia.
Most importantly, the Plan will set out strategies for how all levels of government can work together and with the private and community sector to better support people experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity.
The Plan will be informed by advice provided by the newly established National Housing Supply and Affordability Council.’’
Led by Institute Policy & Advocacy Manager, Reece Agland, the submission brought together the expertise of our expert members and policy team in a cohesive national response.
Read the National Housing and Homelessness Plan.