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Policy Perspective: Issue 1

Cities take their place in the spotlight

A change in leadership brings with it a change in focus.

Where the Abbott Government was largely silent on cities, the Turnbull Government has created a new portfolio for Cities and the Built Environment and the nation’s first Minister for Cities, Jamie Briggs.

Briggs, who reports to the Minister for Environment Greg Hunt, is focused on cities as drivers of not only economic growth, but of carbon abatement too.

Just last week, Briggs says his portfolio seeks to “get our cities working so they are productive, efficient and liveable so we're attracting the best global talent. And of course that’s a wide range of issues from transport to liveability, through to clean, green cities.”

Australia’s capital cities regularly feature in international rankings for most liveable cities. We know that we are fortunate to have cities with many economic, natural and cultural assets. But speak to anyone living in one of Australia’s fastest-growing cities, and they will speak of diminishing affordability, creaking infrastructure and fading quality of life.

The challenges of making cities productive, liveable, resilient and sustainable are complex – and there will be no single simple solution. However, we do know that a business-as-usual approach won’t cut it.  

But it’s clear everyone – from the loudest advocates to those working quietly behind the scenes – are ready to seize the opportunity to shape policies and develop solutions for cities that work.

We’ve been  an enduring advocate for better communities and cities, and we recognise that both industry and government have critical roles to play. In recent days, we’ve been engaging with Minister Hunt and Minister Briggs, as well as the Prime Minister’s office and the new Minister for Territories, Local Government and Major Projects, Paul Fletcher, who is tasked with finding innovative finance models for infrastructure projects.

In the meantime, we continue to spark discussion and debate about the future of our cities. We’ve launched this new newsletter, Policy Perspective, to do just that.

And on Friday 27 November, we’ll host The Hon. Rob Stokes, NSW Minister for Planning, and The Hon. Anthony Albanese, Federal Shadow Minister for Cities, for a lunch in Sydney, as they outline their visions and debate their policies for 'What makes a city great?" Join us.

Katy Dean
Director – Advocacy
Green Building Council of Australia

Celebrating great government leadership

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.

We applaud governments that provide visionary leadership by setting best practice benchmarks for their projects – and then meeting them.

Third party certification offered by Green Star helps governments to meet community expectations, and demonstrate fiscal responsibility and accountability for the buildings and communities they own, occupy or have a role in developing.

This is exactly what many of our government members are doing.

Each newsletter, we will shine a spotlight on members going above and beyond in the sustainability stakes.

We salute Renewal SA, for making a commitment that each and every building at Bowden in Adelaide – offices, retail outlets, residential developments and even the information centre – must achieve 5 Star Green Star ratings. The result? One of the developers has said Renewal SA’s approach “demanded a fundamental shift in thinking” and “the acquisition of new and greener skills among our designers.”

And a tip of the hat to the City of Gosnells. The Mills Park Community Facility recently achieved the first 6 Star Green Star rating, representing ‘world leadership’, for a public building. As Council’s CEO Ian Cowie says: “To deliver projects like this we have to spend ratepayer dollars, and making sure that we do so responsibly is something that Council takes very seriously. Green Star has provided a robust, trusted framework to measure and verify our success in designing an environmentally sustainable space which will also prove economically sustainable in the future.”

Meet the Advocacy Team

The GBCA Advocacy team provides a voice for our members and is committed to influencing  the sustainability agenda in all spheres of government.

Katy Dean, Director – Advocacy

Responsible for developing and leading the GBCA’s advocacy strategy, Katy joined the GBCA in 2010 and works primarily with the federal, Queensland, New South Wales, ACT and Victorian governments.

Luke Farr, Manager – Advocacy

The GBCA has almost 50 local government members, and Luke works with them and other councils striving to make their communities more sustainable. Luke also works on advocacy issues with the West Australian, South Australian and Tasmanian governments.

Romilly Madew, Chief Executive Officer

After more than two decades in the property and construction industry, and nearly a decade at the helm of the GBCA, Romilly has built many strong relationships with politicians of all stripes and public servants at every level. Her drive and determination has helped shape the sustainable built environment today.

If you would like to know more about the GBCA’s advocacy efforts, or have ideas or issues that you would like to discuss, please email [email protected], or contact Katy or Luke via the details below:

Katy Dean, Director – Advocacy
Phone: 02 8239 6233
Email: [email protected]

Luke Farr, Manager – Advocacy
Phone: 02 8239 6276
Email: [email protected]