Victorian Policy & Advocacy Update

The latest Victorian advocacy and policy update.

Victorian State Budget and cut to OVGA’s core funding.  

The 2022-23 Victorian State Budget was released on the afternoon of Tuesday, 3 May. A hidden outcome buried in the Budget Paper No. 3 – Services Delivery was a cut in the Office of the Victorian Government Architect’s core funding by 42% from $1.2 million per annum to just $700,000 per annum.  

A post-budget report to Victorian members published on May 4th, which includes a link to our media release, can be found here: Victorian State Budget delivers a massive hidden blow to architecture.  On this page there is also a link to Victorian Chapter President, Bill Krotiris’ interview on 6 May with Virginia Trioli on her weekday  774ABC Melbourne morning program. 

The Victorian Chapter President, and members of the Institute’s Policy and Advocacy Unit met with the Deputy Secretary responsible for the OVGA, from the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet, on Friday 20 May.  The Institute has requested that OVGA’s core funding is restored. The Institute advised the Department of Premier and Cabinet of our concern that the Victorian Design Review Panel, which is the leading model for DRPs in Victoria and Australia, will be placed at risk by the funding cut. We also expressed the need to restore funding as a critical success factor for the unprecedented infrastructure spends underway in Victoria with further expansions and initiatives announced in this year’s State Budget. 

The Department of Premier and Cabinet have said they will continue to discuss with the Institute other potential solutions.  

Victorian Building Reform. 

The Stage 1 report of the Building Reform is still a cabinet in confidence document and has, therefore, not been released. However, through the budget the Victorian Government has pre-announced elements of its building reform Stage 1 recommendations with $25.6 million funding over two years is provided for the Victorian Building Authority to: 

  • establish a new Office of the State Building Surveyor to ensure buildings are consistently well-built, safe and fit for purpose.  
  • establish a Building Monitor, supported by staff from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, to improve the consumer experience by advocating for domestic building consumers and reporting on emerging issues. 
  • introduce additional measures to strengthen the building approvals process, including a risk-based targeted inspection audit.  
  • implement automatic mutual recognition in Victoria.