In the lead up to the end of the year, and with an election looming early in the New Year, it continues to be a busy time for policy and advocacy in NSW.
Powerhouse Ultimo Renewal
The response to submissions on the DA has now being released. Find it here.
As many of you know, the Sulman Medal is bestowed by the NSW Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects for buildings of a significant public nature. It is widely regarded as the premier award for Architecture in NSW. Sulman-winning buildings, together with the architects and organisations that design them, are of great importance to the architectural community and the public. It was bestowed on the 1988 Adaptive Reuse of the Powerhouse Museum, Ultimo and consequently, it has been important to ensure its value has been expressed throughout the government renewal process.
Over the past few weeks, the Institute has worked closely with CreateNSW and the Powerhouse to ensure the competition brief adequately details the full history of the site to competition teams and captures the importance of the existing buildings on the Ultimo site from both a perspective of architectural significance and in terms of placing sustainability at the forefront through minimising demolition of existing structures.
We thank CreateNSW for their helpful collaboration throughout this process and we look forward to the successful completion of the competition ahead.
MLC Building 105-153 Miller St North Sydney
The MLC building remains at high risk of demolition. We continue to call upon Minister Griffin to relist the building immediately and, this time, in a manner that will be upheld. We have been unable to secure a meeting with the Minister given the matter is still under legal consideration. See his response to our request here.
NSW Treasury Commercial Framework and Government Contract Terms & Conditions
We have continued to advocate strongly for the scrapping of fixed daily rates for architects on NSW government contracts and an improvement in the transparency of the process in setting these rates.
There has now been a significant change in the approach that will be taken with the Commercial Framework.
The Procurement Board has approved a 2 phased implementation :
Phase 1 – Infrastructure suppliers do not have to sign up to the Standard Commercial Framework and the top 50 suppliers (FY20/21) by spend will have to provide ongoing data reporting to NSW Treasury
Phase 2 – Once the Standard Terms & Conditions project has been completed & market volatility has stabilised (~12 to 18 months) IA suppliers will be asked to sign up to refreshed commercials for the Standard Commercial Framework.
Although we are pleased that this change has now been made, it remains the position of the Institute that a benchmark of fixed daily rates for government contracts must only be implemented following an extensive collection of data from a diverse number of architectural practices, and that the extensive variation in expertise between sectors is adequately accounted for in this process. The Institute continues to be happy to work with Treasury to ensure this data can be collected and to assist in the process of implementing a fair and transparent commercial framework.
Next week, we will bring together our colleagues across the built environment sector including Engineers Australia, AILA, AIBS and others to meet with the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure Anoulack Chanthivong to further discuss our concerns with the current infrastructure procurement procedural issues.
The response on submissions to the government contract Terms and Conditions has not yet been released and we will update you when they are received.
NSW Building Reforms
We are pleased that Matt Whitton has now been confirmed in the role of Assistant NSW Building Commissioner. We will continue to work closely with the Building Commissioner’s team for the benefit of all consumers, and for policy which values the contribution architects make to positive consumer outcomes.
The NSW government has a number of building reforms currently on exhibition. These include:
- A proposed Building Bill to replace the Home Building Act 1989
- A proposed Building Compliance and Enforcement Bill to replace the Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Act 2020
- Broader amendments to existing building regulatory framework
- Expansion of registration, documentation and declaration requirements under the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 and powers under the Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Act 2020 to class 3 and 9c buildings
- Implementation of the Fire Safety Review.
Feedback is open until 25 November 2022. Find the link here.
Alternatively, if there are specific aspects of the reforms you would like to provide comment on for the Institute submission, please send these comments to email@example.com prior to 18 November 2022.
We continue to await the release of a new version of the Compliance Declaration Form and an updated Design Practitioners Handbook with additional guidance. Our dedicated webpage will be revised and will include both existing and new content once these important changes are in place.
Additionally, we are pleased to see the release of the online module Producing Compliant Designs which we know will provide great assistance and confidence to practitioners in implementing the building reforms into their professional practice.
If you haven’t already viewed the Waterproofing Design Principles module, it is also highly recommended.
Duty of Care under the Design and Building Practitioners Act
The Institute sought legal advice on behalf of its members to examine any change in duty of care provisions as a result of Part 4 of the DBP Act, and the recent case of Goodwin Street Developments Pty Ltd atf Jesmond Unit Trust v DSD Builders Pty Ltd.
In order to further protect consumers from bearing the financial cost of building defects, the NSW government have launched a program to assist those with major defects occurring in buildings up to six years old. Find information here.
Sustainable Buildings SEPP
This important work has now been released. Read the SEPP here.
A webinar was held by the NSW government recently providing more details on the SEPP to any stakeholders wishing to know more.
Current draft plans and policies on exhibition include:
- Large Erecting Shop rezoning proposal
- South East Wilton Precinct Structure Plan updates (2022)
- Draft Far West Regional Plan 2041
- Draft Dark Sky Planning Guideline
- Shoalhaven Hospital redevelopment
NSW Election 2023
In the lead up to the NSW election we will shortly be sending out a survey to all NSW members. This is an important opportunity to inform us of the critical issues which impact your professional practice that you would like government to focus on and which will inform our pre-election asks. Look out for this survey coming soon!
Policy & Advocacy Manager NSW
Image: Newcastle East End | SJB | Photographer: Brett Boardman