From the National President – February 2013

It has been a sobering start to the New Year. As I write, Queensland and Northern NSW are again counting the costs of flood and storm damage, while tracts of Tasmania, NSW and Victoria have been damaged by bushfires.

I know many architects are playing important roles in helping to rebuild not only ‘buildings’, but also communities, and I commend your work.

Meanwhile, the profession continues to be negatively impacted by international economic forces, as well as local economic and demographic influences. I think you are all already feeling it and yes, the outlook for 2013 is that it’s going to be another tough one for the industry.

The ACIF Forecasts published late last year showed a fragmented outlook for the industry, with improving prospects for one sector, a bleak time ahead for another, and the third sector set to peak soon before softening over the next decade.

ACIF warns: “It is expected that the next twelve months will be make or break times for many businesses, from architecture and design, to building and concreting.”

But there is hope. Pressures of a growing population with changing demographics are behind a revival of flagging residential building in most states. Significant housing shortages, estimated by the National Housing Supply Council at more than 210,000 dwellings, will finally gain some relief over the next five years.

Despite difficult economic times, or perhaps because of them, we need to see and celebrate the contribution excellent architecture makes, to remind us of its enormous value. As you’re aware, we work consistently to promote the awards, and generate significant national and international coverage of this important program, which helps raise awareness of the value of architecture. Entries have already closed in Queensland and Regional NSW. Closing dates for the other states and territories can be found here.

Shelley Penn