Victorian Chapter Advocacy Update

The Victorian State Budget Dissected and other updates on government activities

For members who may not have detected through their social media tools, a detailed review of the 2020-21 Victorian State budget highlights was posted to the Institute website last week, and can be read here.

Other topics of government activity and policy work that feature in this posting included:

  • Information about the Federal Government’s Home Builder Extension
  • Information clarifying eligibility to respond to the request for proposal for Victoria’s Big Housing Build – In Progress and Ready To Build Developments
  • An update on the Chapter’s engagement with the Victorian Cladding Taskforce Communication Strategy.

Local Government procurement of Architecture services

Members recently raised concerns about a current Request for Tender (RFT) by the Wyndham City Council for a Lead Design Consultant for the Truganina (Elements) Community Centre (N400104). The RFT seeks a design response as specified in Part 1 Conditions of Tender which is weighted at 35% of the overall tender response and which seeks as a ‘Conceptual Design Mandatory Requirement’,

Each tenderer is required to provide a design response including the schematic design concept and an indicative cost of the construction based upon the brief requirements for one and/or two options.

The Victorian Chapter State Manager, Tim Leslie, has written to the CEO of Wyndham City Council to voice the Institute’s concerns and about seeking unpaid designs through the RFT process as this contravenes the Institute’s own guidelines for Expressions of Interest (EOI) and Requests for Tender (RFT). The letter has also asked the Wyndham City Council to remove the request for any pre-commission drawn design work from the RFT.

The Institute is also seeking a meeting with Wyndham City Council to further this discussion. In light of poor procurement becoming a perennial issue, next year we are proposing to engage with a number of local councils across Victoria to discuss this issue as well as establishing greater rapport and connection to these key government groups.

Members are encouraged to email the Victorian Chapter with similar situations that the Chapter then can follow up individually as well as creating a body of evidence to support a broader Policy Advocacy response to change this procurement practice.

Helping Businesses Lower Bills And Reduce Emissions

In a media release on Friday 4 December, the State Government has launched a new grants fund to support Victoria’s large energy users to transform the way they use energy, lowering costs and reducing emissions.

As a part of the Victorian Budget’s 2020/21 $1.6 billion clean energy investment, the $31 million Business Recovery Energy Efficiency Fund will help Victorian businesses fast-track investments that create more efficient production lines and improve their competitiveness.

This new fund will lower operating costs for businesses while creating jobs and reducing emissions as part of Victoria’s clean energy transition. The grants are open to medium and large energy using industrial and commercial businesses. 

Applications for the fund are now open, with two types of grants available — Capital Works and Energy Demand Management.
Phase 1 applications for the grants close on 31 December 2020,
and phase 2 applications close on 31 January 2021.

Capital Works grants will assist Victoria’s largest energy users to install energy saving equipment and encourage investment in projects that create jobs and support key supply chains. 

$7million of Energy Demand Management Grants will provide funding for projects that involve:

  • Capital investment in technology needed to enable demand response, including communications and control technology
  • Professional advice to support uptake of demand-side opportunities
  • Feasibility studies
  • Energy audits
  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Implementing steps under/or formal accreditation to the ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems framework.

For more information and to apply, see here.

#handsoffAnzacHall Social Media Campaign

Members will receive through other communications information about the Institute’s newly launched campaign on social media inviting all Australians to show their support for Anzac Hall by sharing stories of their experiences with it.

Time is quickly running out to stop approval being granted for the Australian War Memorial’s planned $498 million redevelopment, which includes the demolition of Anzac Hall, a young building which was the recipient of the 2005 National Award – Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Architecture. The demolition of Nationally architecturally significant buildings is a troubling precedent.

It is easy to support the campaign with a quick social media post, like or share. The Institute seeks members and the community’s support and assistance to spread the word across social networks.

Action that you can take to help save Anzac Hall:

  1. Like and share posts: The Institute is rolling out a series of social media posts across Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Please like or share these posts.
  2. Share your own stories: Did you visit Anzac Hall as a school student? On a work trip? With family? Please share the story and photos of your experience with this award-winning building. Don’t forget to use #handsoffAnzacHall
  3. Tell your friends: Do your friends and family care about heritage? The more people who share the campaign on their networks, the wider its reach and the bigger its impact. Let’s really see what we can do using the potential multiplier effect social media offers as a force for good.
  4. Sign the petition: You can also sign our petition to the Australian Parliament.