SA Policy and Advocacy Update

School infrastructure investment

The South Australian government will transition all Year 7 students from primary to high school by 2020. The Institute has strongly supported this policy change. Around 10,000 student places will be needed at 36 public high schools over the next four years to accommodate organic growth as well as Year 7 students transitioning into high school from 2022.

With major upgrades of educational facilities, ranging from $2 million to $39.5 million, at various stages of planning, design and procurement, the Institute has noted that the Education Department and the Transport, Planning and Infrastructure Department need to work more closely together to ensure projects are completed to a high standard and in good time.  The Institute has raised its concerns directly with each department, in particular around the procurement process being used by the Department of Education Capital Works Program.

The Institute issued a media release, No time to rush our investment in school infrastructure (18 November 2019) outlining that South Australia’s investment in school infrastructure is a once-in-a-generation opportunity, but a compressed schedule risks quality, value for money and long-term benefits.

The Chapter also made local media comment on this issue with South Australia Executive Director Nicolette Di Lernia outlining that the Institute was very concerned that the volume of work being released into the marketplace, over a compressed time frame, will not deliver the best outcomes for the community. Read the Institute media release.

Procurement process: Department of Education Capital Works Program

The Institute has also continued to provide detailed advice to members on the procurement processes used by the Department of Education Capital Works Program since it was announced in 2017.

The Institute has engaged with the department to try and ensure that a well-structured procurement process will be used, providing members with fair contract conditions and enabling them to provide best practice professional services. The Chapter has circulated advice to members, with the most recent including an amended Consultant Certificate developed by the department in response to the advocacy undertaken to date.


A number of meetings with government and industry have occurred including:

  • Chapter Executive Director, Nicolette Di Lernia and ACA National President John Held (Russell and Yelland) met with the Executive Director, Infrastructure at Department for Education and Children’s Services Ross Treadwell (November 2019) to discuss the current and forthcoming work program in Education Capital Works currently totalling $800m of government investment in the SA community as well as ways members are able to assist and support government with resource challenges.
  • Chair of the Practice Committee, Adam Hannon (Cox Architecture) and Practice Committee Member Chris Watkins (HASSELL) met with the Chief Executive of Procurement for the Local Government Association, South Australia Andrew Haste and Operations Manager – LGA Procurement Martin Borgas (November 2019) to discuss the procurement of Architectural Services by local government authorities including procurement methods and the development of templates, resources and training to assist Councils achieve better procurement and project outcomes.
  • Leanne Hardwicke, Institute General Manager Policy, Advocacy and Education and South Australian Chapter President Tony Giannone convened a member roundtable discussion on construction quality and advocacy methods (November 2019).
  • Chapter President Tony Giannone and other creative sector leaders attended a meeting convened by Creative Industries Think Tank Chair Josephine Evans (JPE Design Studio) with the Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni in relation to the department’s Creative Industries discussion paper (18 December 2019).